Compact soft x-ray transmission microscopy with sub-50 nm spatial resolution

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Chubu University, Касугай, Aichi, Japan
Physics in Medicine and Biology (Impact Factor: 2.76). 04/2006; 51(6):N99-107. DOI: 10.1088/0031-9155/51/6/N01
Source: PubMed


In this paper, the development of compact transmission soft x-ray microscopy (XM) with sub-50 nm spatial resolution for biomedical applications is described. The compact transmission soft x-ray microscope operates at lambda = 2.88 nm (430 eV) and is based on a tabletop regenerative x-ray source in combination with a tandem ellipsoidal condenser mirror for sample illumination, an objective micro zone plate and a thinned back-illuminated charge coupled device to record an x-ray image. The new, compact x-ray microscope system requires the fabrication of proper x-ray optical devices in order to obtain high-quality images. For an application-oriented microscope, the alignment procedure is fully automated via computer control through a graphic user interface. In imaging studies using our compact XM system, a gold mesh image was obtained with 45 nm resolution at x580 magnification and 1 min exposure. Images of a biological sample (Coscinodiscus oculoides) were recorded.

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    • "A different approach was recently demonstrated by Hoshino & Aoki (2006), where a broadband solid-tantalumtarget laser-plasma source in combination with Woltertype grazing-incidence mirrors used both as condenser and objective resulted in an estimated resolution ∼100 nm. Kyong et al. (2006) combined an elliptical condenser mirror and zone plate optics for λ = 2.88 nm microscopy, claiming 50 nm resolution. Scanning microscopy with a laser-plasma source operating at 3.37 nm using a Mylar ® target (DuPont Teijin Films, Hopewell, VA, USA) was demonstrated by Michette et al. (2003), and was capable of resolving structures with a period ∼400 nm. "
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    ABSTRACT: We demonstrate compact full-field soft X-ray transmission microscopy with sub 60-nm resolution operating at lambda= 2.48 nm. The microscope is based on a 100-Hz regenerative liquid-nitrogen-jet laser-plasma source in combination with a condenser zone plate and a micro-zone plate objective for high-resolution imaging onto a 2048 x 2048 pixel CCD detector. The sample holder is mounted in a helium atmosphere and allows imaging of both dry and wet specimens. The microscope design enables fast sample switching and the sample can be pre-aligned using a visible-light microscope. High-quality images can be acquired with exposure times of less than 5 min. We demonstrate the performance of the microscope using both dry and wet samples.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2007 · Journal of Microscopy
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    ABSTRACT: In this article we describe a 3D x-ray microscope based on a laboratory x-ray source operating at 2.7, 5.4 or 8.0 keV hard x-ray energies. X-ray computed tomography (XCT) is used to obtain detailed 3D structural information inside optically opaque materials with sub-30 nm resolution. Applications include imaging internal 3D arrays of nanostructures of smart materials, polymer nanocomposites, porosity and structural imaging within fuel cells; understanding the internal workings of nanosensors, imaging of whole hydrated cells and tissues; non destructive reverse engineering and failure analysis of semiconductor circuitry and MEMs devices.
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    ABSTRACT: X-ray computed tomography (XCT) is a powerful nondestructive 3D imaging technique, which enables the visualization of the three dimensional structure of complex, optically opaque samples. High resolution XCT using Fresnel zone plate lenses has been confined in the past to synchrotron radiation centers due to the need for a bright and intense source of x-rays. This confinement severely limits the availability and accessibility of x-ray microscopes and the wide proliferation of this methodology. We are describing a sub-50nm resolution XCT system operating at 8 keV in absorption and Zernike phase contrast mode based on a commercially available laboratory x-ray source. The system utilizes high-efficiency Fresnel zone plates with an outermost zone width of 35 nm and 700 nm structure height resulting in a current spatial resolution better than 50 nm. In addition to the technical description of the system and specifications, we present application examples in the semiconductor field.
    No preview · Article · Aug 2006 · Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
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