The Swiss Light Source (SLS) has been operational now for nearly two decades. In this period, it has spearheaded groundbreaking research in biomedicine, engineering and the natural sciences, thanks in large part to the excellent performance of the underpinning electron accelerator and storage ring complex. In addition, it has led the world in industrial exploitation, particularly by the pharmaceutical sector, and spawned numerous new companies, including one of the most successful Swiss technology spinoffs, Dectris. For much of this time, the SLS was a benchmark with regards to how closely its performance matched the theoretical limits deﬁned by its machine parameters. However, with the advent of the next generation of synchrotron light sources, called diffraction-limited storage-rings (DLSRs), that yield an emittance and brightness improved by up to two orders of magnitude, it has become imperative to upgrade the SLS (called SLS 2.0) in like manner. It is planned to upgrade the machine in 2023/2024 with a planned improvement in performance of up to a factor of 40, and return to regular user operation in 2025.
Researchers of the Paul Scherrer Institut have previously generated 3-D images of a commercially available computer chip. This was achieved using a high-resolution tomography method. Now they extended their imaging approach to a so-called laminography geometry to remove the requirement of preparing isolated samples, also enabling imaging at various magnification. For ptychographic X-ray laminography (PyXL) a new instrument was developed and built, and new data reconstruction algorithms were implemented to align the projections and reconstruct a 3D dataset. The new capabilities were demonstrated by imaging a 16 nm FinFET integrated circuit at 18.9 nm 3D resolution at the Swiss Light Source. The results are reported in the latest edition of the journal Nature Electronics. The imaging technique is not limited to integrated circuits, but can be used for high-resolution 3D imaging of flat extended samples. Thus the researchers start now to exploit other areas of science ranging from biology to magnetism.