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A powerful light source for X-ray microscopy


Scatterings imageA diatom imaged with a prototype X-ray microscope.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT (Aachen, Germany) have developed a powerful soft X-ray light source and collector lens system smaller than 2 m3. The small size allows it to be integrated directly into a microscope. The hollow-cathode-triggered pinch plasma—generated from ionized nitrogen—emits at 2.88 nm. A prototype microscope captures 3D images of several-micrometer-thick samples in tens of seconds. Klaus Bergmann, who leads the team, adds, “We will be able to bring the exposure time down to below 10 s for the larger samples too, by optimizing the design of the condenser mirror.”

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Publish Date: 01 March 2009

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