Dedicated diffractive VUV- and X-ray optical elements are essential for future developments in synchrotron instrumentation and methods like e.g. time-resolved spectroscopy. The quality of optical components like gratings or diffractive focusing elements matters directly to the results achievable. On the other hand the availability of such optical components is very limited at present. In this contribution we report on the development of new methods of time-resolved x-ray spectroscopy based on novel 3D diffractive optical elements (DOE) with a unique combination of properties. Such optical elements are of highest interest for application in modern synchrotron facilities like Free Electron Lasers (FELs) as well as for laboratory facilities with high harmonic generators (HHG). The project includes theoretical work as well as the development of a dedicated technology, including metrology, to manufacture such type of optics for applications in atomic, molecular and condensed matter physics. The here discussed type of optics was successfully implemented for soft-X-ray-application at the femto-second-slicing beamline at BESSY II storage ring of the Helmholtz Zentrum Berlin. DOE are expected to be important components in beamlines at upcoming new high brilliance X-ray sources such as FELs. The application of DOE`s allows to reduce the number of optical elements in a beamline. Thus allow to provide the highest possible transmission and flux as well as preserving the unique properties of FEL´s, like wave-front and coherence.