The well-established way to obtain the ultimate resolution is to use X-ray optics. This imaging technique is since many years performed at synchrotrons, since they can provide a high brilliance monochromatic beam. In recent decades, the optics-based X-ray microscope based on laboratory sources are commercially available.
The X-ray optics limits the bandwidth of the spectrum, thus a high brightness and relatively monochromatic X-ray source is needed. The conventional laboratory-based X-ray microscopes often use high-power rotating-anode sources. The drawback of this setup is the high loss of flux, since the acceptance angle of the optics will strictly limit what radiation that can become useful. A MetalJet source offers a sharp, high-intensity Kα line from Gallium emitted from a small focal spot, making a considerably larger fraction of the flux useful in the optics setup. This higher brightness makes broad applications possible also on compact sources.
Schematic of high-resolution optics-based X-ray microscope. Just like in a visible light microscope, the condenser optic illuminates the sample and the high-resolution objective images the sample to the detector.
The periodic line patterns at the inner of a Siemens star, with 150 nm lines and spaces, can be resolved with the X-ray microscope based on the MetalJet D2 source. The image was taken with a Fresnel zone plate as objective.
From the same publication, a volumetric rendering of the CT of a bent ~ 4 µm tip of the bend tip of a damaged injection cannula with X-ray microscope based on Excillum’sMetalJetsource. The voxel size was 147 nm.
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