XRnanotech implements the newest innovations in X-ray optics research and development, pushing the boundaries of what is possible and enabling customers worldwide to utilize these possibilities.
The patented technologies developed Paul Scherrer Institute, together with the engineering prowess of our scientists and our highest-level quality-control, make for the most advanced X-ray optics in the world.
Maximum resolution through the Ir-line-doubling technique
With our unique line-doubling technique, we can achieve an X-ray beam focus as precise as 5nm, which makes us the world record holder.
With such a precise focus, X-ray imaging resolution reaches an unprecedented level, making visible what was once invisible and enabling completely new applications.
The process comprises coating a sparse template with an atomic layer of Iridium before stripping the base structure off through reactive ion etching.
B. Rösner et al. Exploiting atomic layer deposition for fabricating sub-10 nm X-ray lenses Microelectronic Engineering 191 (2018) p. 91
B. Rösner et al. 7 nm spatial resolution in soft x-ray microscopy Microscopy and Microanalysis 24 (2018) p. 270
K. Jefimovs et al. A zone doubling technique to produce ultra-high resolution x-ray optics Physical Review Letters 99 (2007) p. 264801
J. Vila-Comamala et al. Advanced Thin Film Technology for Ultrahigh Resolution X-Ray Microscopy Ultramicroscopy 109 (2009) p. 1360
Optimized efficiency through blazed optics
The higher the photon efficiency of an optic, the more photons pass through it, which means that more efficient optics save time and energy for the same result.
Compared to traditional optics with binary gratings that have a theoretical photon efficiency limit at 40.5%, blazed gratings with only one additional step already increase the limit to 68.4%, and for another added step, it's 81.1%
As we use a process based on electron beam lithography to manufacture our optics, as opposed to mechanical ruling, we can easily implement designs with multi-step blazed gratings.
In real world conditions, we have achieved a photon efficiency of more than 50% for diffractive zone plates, whereas the industry standard is 5-10%, or up to 25% for the most advanced applications.
This way, not only experimenting time can be cut in half, pushing the progress of science, but also can the immense costs of running experiments at the worlds largest X-ray sources be cut in half.
P. Karvinen et al. Kinoform diffractive lenses for efficient nano-focusing of hard X-rays Optics Express 22 (2014) p. 16676
I. Mohacsi et al. High efficiency X-ray nanofocusing by multilevel zone plates Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 21 (2014) p. 497
I. Mohacsi et al. Fabrication and characterization of high efficiency double-sided blazed X-ray optics Optics Letters 41 (2016) p. 281
Unprecedented radiation stability with diamond optics
In the last decades, the brightness of X-ray sources has skyrocketed, with free electron lasers reaching over 100 million times the brilliance of the sun.
This has opened up important fields of research, but also revealed a crucial limitation of X-ray optics:
At such high radiation energies, they melt.
We have developed a method to process optics from monolithic diamond, the most heat-resistent natural material.
Diamond optics can easily withstand the extreme intensity of FEL X-ray beams and thus relieve this bottleneck in FEL experimentation.
C. David et al. Nanofocusing of hard X-ray free electron laser pulses using diamond based Fresnel zone plates Scientific Reports 1 (2011) p. 57
M. Makita et al. Diamond diffraction gratings for experiments with intense hard x-rays Microelectronic Engineering 176 (2017) p. 75
N. Kujala et al. Characterizing transmissive diamond gratings as beam splitter for hard X-ray singleshot spectrometer of European XFEL Journal of Synchrotron Radiation 26 (2019) p. 708