Novel lens enables microscopy with nanometer resolution
A novel lens offers scientists the sharpest X-ray images yet from the nano world. The device is made from alternating layers of tungsten carbide and silicon carbide and can focus hard X-rays into a spot of less than ten nanometers in diameter as a team lead by Saša Bajt from the German research center Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY report in Light: Science and Applications, a journal of the Nature Publishing Group.
Two orthogonal lenses focus the X-ray beam into a small spot. The object under investigation (Acantharia, a marine plankton about 50 microns in diameter, with spikes showing nanostructured details) is placed close to the focus and a highly magnified holographic image is recorded with the detector. This measurement was made at P06 beamline, PETRA III, DESY, Germany.
Credit: Saša Bajt, Mauro Prasciolu, Holger Fleckenstein, Martin Domaracky, Henry N. Chapman, Andrew J. Morgan, Oleksandr Yefanov, Marc Messerschmidt, Yang Du, Kevin T. Murray, Valerio Mariani, Manuela Kuhn, Steve Aplin, Kanupriya Pande, Pablo Villanueva-Perez, Karolina Stachnik, Joe P. J. Chen, Andrzej Andrejczuk, Alke Meents, Anja Burkhardt, David Pennicard, Xiaojing Huang, Hanfei Yan, Evgeny Nazaretski, Yong S. Chu and Christian E. Hamm; Light: Science & Applications; DOI: 10.1038/lsa.2017.162
The short wavelength and the penetrating nature of X-rays are ideal for the microscopic investigation?of complex materials. For example, nanometer resolution X-ray images provide better understanding of structure and function of materials, which is critical for the development of new materials with improved properties.
This requires bright X-ray sources but also highly efficient and almost perfect x-ray optics. To acquire images, the X-rays must be focused : as in a light microscope. This is not easy as high energy X-rays penetrate most materials unimpeded and cannot be significantly manipulated with conventional lenses.
The multilayer Laue lens overcomes this problem. This device is basically a synthetic nanostructure that diffracts X-rays much like a crystal. If shaped the right way, the incident X-rays can all be concentrated in a very small focus.
The synthetic nanostructures are prepared by magnetron sputtering. We introduced a new pair of materials, tungsten carbide and silicon carbide, to prepare layered structures with smooth and sharp interfaces and with no material phase transitions that hampered the manufacture of previous lenses. Equally important is the control of the layer thickness and shape with atom-scale precision, explains Bajt.
The sub-nanometer control of layer thickness gained through sputter deposition is considerably better than obtainable in a lithography process , a process used to prepare lithographic zone plates commonly used in x-ray microscopes operating at lower X-ray energies.
The high aspect ratio (smallest layer thickness vs. optical lens thickness) of the deposited layers makes for very efficient x-ray focusing, which is critical for fast imaging. The paper presents different characterization methods and ways to reduce remaining lens imperfections. The team is convinced that creating lenses approaching a single nanometer resolution is possible.
X-ray focusing with efficient high-NA multilayer Laue lenses; Saša Bajt, Mauro Prasciolu, Holger Fleckenstein, Martin Domaracky, Henry N. Chapman, Andrew J. Morgan, Oleksandr Yefanov, Marc Messerschmidt, Yang Du, Kevin T. Murray, Valerio Mariani, Manuela Kuhn, Steve Aplin, Kanupriya Pande, Pablo Villanueva-Perez, Karolina Stachnik, Joe P. J. Chen, Andrzej Andrejczuk, Alke Meents, Anja Burkhardt, David Pennicard, Xiaojing Huang, Hanfei Yan, Evgeny Nazaretski, Yong S. Chu and Christian E. Hamm; Light: Science & Applications; DOI: 10.1038/lsa.2017.162
Chenzi Guo | EurekAlert!
The magic wavelength of cadmium
16.09.2019 | University of Tokyo
Tomorrow´s coolants of choice
16.09.2019 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf
Later during this century, around 2060, a paradigm shift in global energy consumption is expected: we will spend more energy for cooling than for heating....
Researchers from the Department of Atomically Resolved Dynamics of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg, the University of Potsdam (both in Germany) and the University of Toronto (Canada) have pieced together a detailed time-lapse movie revealing all the major steps during the catalytic cycle of an enzyme. Surprisingly, the communication between the protein units is accomplished via a water-network akin to a string telephone. This communication is aligned with a ‘breathing’ motion, that is the expansion and contraction of the protein.
This time-lapse sequence of structures reveals dynamic motions as a fundamental element in the molecular foundations of biology.
Two research teams have succeeded simultaneously in measuring the long-sought Thorium nuclear transition, which enables extremely precise nuclear clocks. TU Wien (Vienna) is part of both teams.
If you want to build the most accurate clock in the world, you need something that "ticks" very fast and extremely precise. In an atomic clock, electrons are...
Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have demonstrated a detector made from graphene that could revolutionize the sensors used in next-generation space telescopes. The findings were recently published in the scientific journal Nature Astronomy.
Beyond superconductors, there are few materials that can fulfill the requirements needed for making ultra-sensitive and fast terahertz (THz) detectors for...
A supersolid is a state of matter that can be described in simplified terms as being solid and liquid at the same time. In recent years, extensive efforts have been devoted to the detection of this exotic quantum matter. A research team led by Tilman Pfau and Tim Langen at the 5th Institute of Physics of the University of Stuttgart has succeeded in proving experimentally that the long-sought supersolid state of matter exists. The researchers report their results in Nature magazine.
In our everyday lives, we are familiar with matter existing in three different states: solid, liquid, or gas. However, if matter is cooled down to extremely...
10.09.2019 | Event News
04.09.2019 | Event News
29.08.2019 | Event News
16.09.2019 | Life Sciences
16.09.2019 | Materials Sciences
16.09.2019 | Health and Medicine