Soft x‐ray emission spectroscopy is a common tool for the study of the electronic structure of molecules and solids. However, the interpretation of spectra is sometimes made difficult by overlaying lines due to satellite transitions or close‐lying core holes. Also, irrelevant inner core transitions may accidentally fall in the wavelength region under study. These problems, which often arise for spectra excited with electrons or broadband photon sources can be removed by using monochromatized synchrotron radiation. In addition, one achieves other advantages as well, such as the ability to study resonant behavior. Another important aspect is the softness of this excitation agent, which allows chemically fragile compounds to be investigated. In this work we demonstrate the feasibility of using monochromatized synchrotron radiation to excite soft x‐ray spectra. We also show new results which have been accomplished as a result of the selectivity of the excitation. The work has been carried out using the Flipper I wiggler beamline at HASYLAB in Hamburg using a new grazing incidence instrument designed specifically for this experiment. The photon flux at the Flipper I station (typically 5×10<sup>1</sup><sup>2</sup> photons per second on the sample with a 1% bandpass) is enough to allow soft x‐ray fluorescence spectra to be recorded at relatively high resolution and within reasonable accumulation times (typically, the spectra presented in this work were recorded in 30 min). The spectrometer is based on a new concept which allows the instrument to be quite small, still covering a large wavelength range (10–250 Å). The basic idea involves the use of several fixed mounted gratings and a large two‐dimensional detector. The grating arrangement provides simple mounting within a limited space and, in particular, large spectral range. The detector can be moved in a three‐axis coordinate system in order to cover the-
different Rowland curves defined by the different gratings. The arrangement permits the use of gratings with different radii, which further facilitate the achievement of optimum performance over a large range. Two‐dimensional detection is used to allow a large solid angle, without suffering from loss of resolution due to imaging errors. The detector is based on five 2‐in. MCPs with resistive anode read out. The sensitivity of the detector, which is normally very low for soft x rays, especially at grazing angles, is enhanced by CsI coating and by using an entrance electrode.