Nanotechnology Now

Our NanoNews Digest Sponsors

Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button

Home > Press > Sharper imaging using X-rays: HZB team develops three-dimensional volume diffraction optics for X-rays

These scanning electron micrographs show how accurately the three Fresnel zone plates were positioned above one another. 3D X-ray optics of this kind allow the resolutions and optical intensities to be considerably improved.
Image: S. Werner/HZB
These scanning electron micrographs show how accurately the three Fresnel zone plates were positioned above one another. 3D X-ray optics of this kind allow the resolutions and optical intensities to be considerably improved.

Image: S. Werner/HZB

Abstract:
Physicists at HZB have developed a process to generate improved lenses for X-ray microscopy that provide both better resolution and higher throughput. To accomplish this, they fabricate three-dimensional X-ray optics for volume diffraction that consist of on-chip stacked Fresnel zone plates. These three-dimensional nanostructures focus the incident X-rays much more efficiently and enable improved spatial resolution below ten nanometres.

Sharper imaging using X-rays: HZB team develops three-dimensional volume diffraction optics for X-rays

Berlin, Germany | Posted on June 23rd, 2014

In the future, this kind of novel X-ray optics should be available to users at the BESSY II synchrotron source. Among many applications, the improved resolution permits investigations on ultrastructural features in biological specimens as well as studies on nanostructures in novel battery systems.

The wavelength of light limits resolution in microscopy. Visible light can resolve structures on the order of a quarter micron, while the considerably shorter wavelength of X-rays can in principle resolve features down to a few nanometres. In addition, X-rays can also penetrate more deeply into specimens, so that internal structures of three-dimensional specimens can be investigated. However, though light in the visible region can be focussed using refractive lenses made of glass, this approach does not work with soft X-rays. In order to utilise X-rays for imaging, it is necessary to use Fresnel zone plates, which are made out of concentric rings composed of metals like nickel or gold. These metal rings diffract X-rays so that contributions from the different zones are constructively superposed at the focal point. The result is that Fresnel zone plates act as objective lenses to focus X-rays and can be employed in X-ray microscopes. The achievable spatial resolution depends on the smallest ring width that can be manufactured, which up to now has been about ten nanometres.

An improvement of spatial resolution to below ten nanometres poses both technological and fundamental physical problems. On the one hand, it is technologically extremely challenging to fabricate periodic zone structures having a ring width of less than ten nanometres and a height of a few hundred nanometres. On the other hand, theoretical calculations indicate that these types of optics with decreasing ring width would be increasingly inefficient and would simply collect too little light. This dilemma can be resolved with the help of volume diffraction. However, the approach requires zone features that simultaneously have an increasing tilt angle and a declining zone height versus radius, i.e. three-dimensional structured X-ray optics. "Theoretically, though, almost 100 per cent of the incident light could be utilised for the image," explains Dr. Stephan Werner from the Microscopy Research Group at the HZB Institute for Soft Matter and Functional Materials.

In a first step towards three-dimensional X-ray optics, the experts at HZB have manufactured three layers of Fresnel zone plates nearly perfectly above one another. "We have developed a process that enables on-chip stacking of Fresnel zone plates with a precision of less than two nanometres," says Dr. Gerd Schneider, who heads the Microscopy Research Group. The initial measurements demonstrate that this structure captures considerably more light for imaging than conventional Fresnel zone plates. "If we are successful in positioning five zone plate layers above one another, which is our next goal, we will be able to utilise a many times higher fraction of the incident X-ray light for imaging than has been available up to now," says Werner.

The HZB team is reporting on the development of the novel X-ray optics in the technical journal Nano Research. Users at BESSY II could be soon profiting from this advance as well. X-ray microscopy is an important technique for a wide range of research topics, for example in the life sciences to investigate cell organelles, viruses, and nanoparticles within cells, as well as for materials science and energy research to study novel electrochemical energy storage approaches in situ.

Nano Research 2014, 7(4): 528-535, DOI 10.1007/s12274-014-0419-x

####

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Dr. Stephan Werner

49-308-062-13181

Copyright © Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Particle Works creates range of high performance quantum dots February 23rd, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Availability of 45nm RF SOI to Advance 5G Mobile Communications: Optimized RF features deliver high-performance solutions for mmWave beam forming applications in 5G smartphones and base stations February 22nd, 2017

EmTech Asia breaks new barriers with potential applications of space exploration with NASA and MIT February 22nd, 2017

JPK selects compact tensile stage from Deben for their NanoWizard® AFM platform to broaden capabilities for materials characterisation February 22nd, 2017

Molecular phenomenon discovered by advanced NMR facility: Cutting edge technology has shown a molecule self-assembling into different forms when passing between solution state to solid state, and back again - a curious phenomenon in science - says research by the University of Wa February 22nd, 2017

Imaging

JPK selects compact tensile stage from Deben for their NanoWizard® AFM platform to broaden capabilities for materials characterisation February 22nd, 2017

Molecular phenomenon discovered by advanced NMR facility: Cutting edge technology has shown a molecule self-assembling into different forms when passing between solution state to solid state, and back again - a curious phenomenon in science - says research by the University of Wa February 22nd, 2017

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

Physics

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms: In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport February 20th, 2017

Research reveals novel quantum state in strange insulating materials February 14th, 2017

Sorting machine for atoms:Researchers at the University of Bonn clear a further hurdle on the path to creating quantum computers February 10th, 2017

Discoveries

Molecular phenomenon discovered by advanced NMR facility: Cutting edge technology has shown a molecule self-assembling into different forms when passing between solution state to solid state, and back again - a curious phenomenon in science - says research by the University of Wa February 22nd, 2017

Tiny nanoclusters could solve big problems for lithium-ion batteries February 21st, 2017

Oxford Instruments announces Dr Brad Ramshaw of Cornell University, as winner of the 2017 Lee Osheroff Richardson Science Prize February 20th, 2017

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms: In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport February 20th, 2017

Announcements

Particle Works creates range of high performance quantum dots February 23rd, 2017

GLOBALFOUNDRIES Announces Availability of 45nm RF SOI to Advance 5G Mobile Communications: Optimized RF features deliver high-performance solutions for mmWave beam forming applications in 5G smartphones and base stations February 22nd, 2017

EmTech Asia breaks new barriers with potential applications of space exploration with NASA and MIT February 22nd, 2017

JPK selects compact tensile stage from Deben for their NanoWizard® AFM platform to broaden capabilities for materials characterisation February 22nd, 2017

Interviews/Book Reviews/Essays/Reports/Podcasts/Journals/White papers

Molecular phenomenon discovered by advanced NMR facility: Cutting edge technology has shown a molecule self-assembling into different forms when passing between solution state to solid state, and back again - a curious phenomenon in science - says research by the University of Wa February 22nd, 2017

Tiny nanoclusters could solve big problems for lithium-ion batteries February 21st, 2017

Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms: In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport February 20th, 2017

'Lossless' metamaterial could boost efficiency of lasers and other light-based devices February 20th, 2017

Tools

JPK selects compact tensile stage from Deben for their NanoWizard® AFM platform to broaden capabilities for materials characterisation February 22nd, 2017

Molecular phenomenon discovered by advanced NMR facility: Cutting edge technology has shown a molecule self-assembling into different forms when passing between solution state to solid state, and back again - a curious phenomenon in science - says research by the University of Wa February 22nd, 2017

Strem Chemicals and Dotz Nano Ltd. Sign Distribution Agreement for Graphene Quantum Dots Collaboration February 21st, 2017

Engineers shrink microscope to dime-sized device February 17th, 2017

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More











ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project