Ultrahigh-resolution soft-x-ray microscopy with zone plates in high orders of diffraction

Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Sep 11;103(11):110801. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.110801. Epub 2009 Sep 10.


We present an x-ray optical approach to overcome the current limitations in spatial resolution of x-ray microscopes. Our new BESSY full-field x-ray microscope operates with an energy resolution up to E/DeltaE=10(4). We demonstrate that under these conditions it is possible to employ high orders of diffraction for imaging. Using the third order of diffraction of a zone plate objective with 25 nm outermost zone width, 14 nm lines and spaces of a multilayer test structure were clearly resolved. We believe that high-order imaging paves the way towards sub-10-nm real space x-ray imaging.