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X-ray microscopy

The same diatom imaged by scanning electron microscopy (left), our laboratory transmission X-ray microscope (center) and visible light microscopy (right). While the scanning electron microscopy image shows the best resolution, the high penetration depth of the X-rays in the center image enables 3D imaging and still offers a resolution in the low double-digit nanometer regime.

The short wavelength of X-rays enables microscopy at high resolutions (~30 nm) just between optical microscopy (> 200 nm) and Scanning electron microscopy (~1-2 nm). Modern X-ray microscopes have achieved spatial resolutions of less than 10 nm, theoretically only limited by the objective optics. The high penetration depth of X-rays compared to electrons additionally makes investigations of thick (10 µm) aqueous specimen feasible, rendering this technique an ideal tool for the investigation of cells and organic tissue.

Together with the Max-Born-Institute, the Berlin Laboratory for innovative X-ray Technologies (BLiX) operates a prototype of a full-field water window laboratory X-ray microscope based on plasma source induced by a high power laser. Furthermore, in cooperation with the group of Prof. Dr. Thomas Wilhein, Hochschule Koblenz, Campus Remagen, we developed and operate a flexible endstation for microscopic imaging at large scale synchrotron facilities - the Analytical Imaging with X-rays (AnImaX)- endstation.

Point of contact: Lars Lühl (PETRAIII microscope), Christian Seim (laboratory microscope), Holger Stiel (laboratory microscope)


Relevant publications:

L. Lühl et al. J. Synchrotron Rad. (2019). 26

H. Legall et al., Opt Express. 2012 Jul 30;20(16):18362-9

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