Ptychography is a diffraction imaging method that allows one to solve inverse problems in microscopy with the ability to retrieve information about and correct for systematic errors. Here, we propose techniques to correct for axial position uncertainty, detector point spread, and inhomogeneous detector response using ptychography’s inherent self-calibration capabilities. The proposed methods are tested with visible light and x-ray experimental data. We believe that the results are important for precise calibration of ptychographic experimental setups and rigorous quantification of partially coherent beams by means of ptychography.
X-ray microscopy enables high spatial resolutions, high penetration depths and characterization of a broad range of materials. Calculations show that nanometer range resolution is achievable in the hard X-ray regime by using Fresnel zone plates (FZPs) if certain conditions are satisfied. However, this requires, among other things, aspect ratios of several thousands. The multilayer (ML) type FZPs, having virtually unlimited aspect ratios, are strong candidates to achieve single nanometer resolutions. Our research is focused on the fabrication of ML-FZPs which encompasses deposition of multilayers over a glass fiber via the atomic layer deposition (ALD), which is subsequently sliced in the optimum thickness for the X-ray energy by a focused ion beam (FIB). We recently achieved aberration free imaging by resolving 21 nm features with an efficiency of up to 12.5 %, the highest imaging resolution achieved by an ML-FZP. We also showed efficient focusing of 7.9 keV X-rays down to 30 nm focal spot size (FWHM). For resolutions below ~10 nm, efficiencies would decrease significantly due to wave coupling effects. To compensate this effect high efficiency, low stress materials have to be researched, as lower intrinsic stresses will allow fabrication of larger FZPs with higher number of zones, leading to high light intensity at the focus. As a first step we fabricated an ML-FZP with a diameter of 62 μm, an outermost zone width of 12 nm and 452 active zones. Further strategies for fabrication of high resolution high efficiency multilayer FZPs will also be discussed.
Kinoform lenses are focusing optics with a 100 % theoretical focusing efficiency. Up to date, the actual continuous 3D surface relief profiles of X-ray kinoform lenses could only be approximately fabricated. Now, we have come up with an effective ion beam lithography fabrication strategy producing first-ever imaging-quality circularly symmetric kinoform lenses which demonstrated reasonably high focusing efficiencies. Here, we will discuss the potential of the fabrication method and the utility of kinoform lenses enabled by it. Special emphases will be placed on materials development including selection and design, efficiency considerations for various energies and possible applications.
The ultimate goal of our research is to develop novel fabrication methods for high efficiency and high resolution X-ray optics. To this end, we have been pursuing the fabrication of several innovative diffractive/refractive optics designs. One such optic is the multilayer type Fresnel zone plate (ML-FZP). Our fabrication process relies on the atomic layer deposition (ALD) of two materials on a smooth glass fiber followed by a focused ion beam (FIB) based slicing and polishing. The ALD process allows much smaller outermost zone widths than the standard electron beam lithography based FZPs, meaning FZPs with potentially higher resolutions. Moreover, by depositing the multilayer on a cm long glass-fiber FZPs with very high optical thicknesses can be fabricated that can efficiently focus harder X-rays as well. A 21 nm half-pitch resolution was achieved using the ML-FZPs. Another optic we have been working on is the kinoform lens, which is a refractive/diffractive optic with a 100 % theoretical focusing efficiency. Their fabrication is usually realized by using approximate models which limit their success. Recently the fabrication of real kinoform lenses has been successfully realized in our lab via gray-scale direct-write ion beam lithography without any approximations. The lenses have been tested in the soft X-ray range achieving up to ~90 % of the calculated efficiency which indicates outstanding replication of the designed profile. Here we give an overview of our research and discuss the future challenges and opportunities for these optics.