Novel X-ray lens with potential commercial applications
PSI scientists have developed a ground-breaking achromatic lens for X-rays which facilitates the glimpse into the nanoworld. This allows the X-ray beams to be accurately focused on a single point even if they have different wavelengths. Soon, the newly developed lens will also be used in industry.
Achromatic lenses are essential for producing sharp images in photography and optical microscopes. They ensure that different colours – i.e. light of different wavelengths – have a common focal point. To date, however, achromatic lenses have not been available for X-rays, so that high-resolution X-ray microscopy has only been possible with monochromatic X-rays. In practice, this means that all other wavelengths have to be filtered out of the X-ray beam spectrum and hence only a small portion of the light can effectively be used, resulting in a relatively inefficient image capturing process.
A team of PSI scientists have now solved this problem by successfully developing an achromatic X-ray lens for X-rays. Since X-rays can reveal much smaller structures than visible light, the innovative lens will particularly benefit R&D work in sectors such as microchips, batteries and materials science, among others.
The newly developed lens enables the leap from research application to X-ray microscopy in commercial use in industry. Together with XRnanotech, PSI plans to market the new lens.