XM - X-ray Microscopy

X-ray Microscopy

In the nano-ages new tools for the analysis of complex structures are essential. The HZB microscopy group develops novel methods for X-ray imaging to make use out of the unique interactions of X-rays with matter. For this, X-ray optics for the 10 nm scale characterization of the nanostructure, chemical nature, and composition of materials with high energy resolution are engineered and fabricated. We have developed a novel full-field transmission X-ray microscope (TXM) for the soft X-ray range that uses partially-coherent object illumination instead of the quasi-coherent illumination used in earlier setups. 

This TXM had demonstrated its high potential for life sciences by nano-tomography of cryogenic samples.  High resolution images of cryogenic thick biological specimens with 3-D resolution around 30 nm ( half-pitch) have been achieved. Additionally, due to the high energy resolution spatially-resolved NEXAFS studies (NEXAFS-TXM) for material sciences are possible.

An incorporated fluorescence light microscope was developed. This permits to record fluorescence, bright field and DIC images of cryogenic samples (cells) inside the TXM. Thus, two complementary imaging modalities are available and allow correlative studies.

Optical setup of the TXM and experimental techniques

Optical setup of the TXM and experimental techniques

Schematic setup of the incorporated light microscope

Schematic setup of the incorporated light microscope

Technical specifications

Technical specifications

The X-ray microscope

The X-ray microscope

List of publications
Station data
TXM
Temperature range 100 K to room temperature
Pressure Range samples under vacuum
Detector Thinned, backside illuminated CCD, 1340 pixel x 1300 pixel (Roper Scientific PI SX1300)
Manipulators Goniometer - CompuStage (FEI)
Sample holder compatibility Every FEI-CompuStage compatible holder could be used - but be careful: the sample holder orietation is rotated by 90°
Beamline(s)

U41-TXM

Tomography capability tilt range -80° to +80°

Methods

NEXAFS, X-ray Microscopy, X-ray Tomography
  • X-ray nano-tomography
        - of cells
        - of porous materials
  • NEXAFS-TXM (nano-spectroscopy) of nanoscale materials
  • electromigration and stress migration in semiconductors
  • dichroism in materials
        

The optical design of the TXM at the BESSY II undulator beamline U41-L06-PGM1 allows high spectral resolution of up to E/ΔE = 10000, 25 nm (half-pitch) spatial resolution and field of views in the range of 10 -  15 µm. Using the third order of diffraction of a zone plate objective with 20 nm outermost zone width fabricated at the HZB (using our advanced electron beam lithography system EBPG5000plusES from Vistec), 11 nm lines and spaces of a multilayer test structure were clearly resolved.