High-Resolution Kinoform X-Ray Optics Printed via 405 nm 3D Laser Lithography

  • Author:

    U.T. Sanli, T. Messer, M. Weigand, L. Lötgering, G. Schütz, M. Wegener, C. Kern, and K. Keskinbora

  • Source:

    Adv. Mater. Technol. 2101695 (2022)

  • Date: 24.02.2022
  • Abstract:

    Efficient focusing of X-rays is essential for high-resolution X-ray microscopy. Diffractive X-ray optics called kinoforms offer the highest focusing efficiencies in theory. However, they have long remained unavailable due to their challenging nanofabrication. Recently, various X-ray optic geometries including kinoforms have been realized using 3D laser lithography at near-infrared wavelengths. As the smallest features (period) of the kinoform determines the resolving power, there is a natural drive to find ways to fabricate kinoforms with ever smaller features. Here, a custom-built 3D laser lithography setup with an excitation wavelength of 405 nm is used, which allows to half the smallest period of the kinoforms compared to previous work. A 40% improvement in scanning transmission X-ray microscopy image resolution, that is, a cutoff resolution of 145 nm, and an efficiency of 7.6% at 700 eV is achieved. A reconstructed pixel size of 18.5 nm, reaching the limit imposed by the design of the microscopy set-up, is demonstrated through ptychographic imaging of a magnetic sample which has a strongly reduced contrast mechanism. Moreover, X-ray lenses manufactured by 405 nm 3D laser lithography have the potential to become much less expensive than X-ray lenses made by other means.