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Opt Lett. 2008 Oct 15;33(20):2359-61.

Compact soft x-ray microscope using a gas-discharge light source.

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Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology, Aachen, Germany.


We report on a soft x-ray microscope using a gas-discharge plasma with pseudo spark-like electrode geometry as a light source. The source produces a radiant intensity of 4 x 10(13) photons/(sr pulse) for the 2.88 nm emission line of helium-like nitrogen. At a demonstrated 1 kHz repetition rate a brilliance of 4.3 x 10(9) photons/(microm2 sr s) is obtained for the 2.88 nm line. Ray-tracing simulations show that, employing an adequate grazing incidence collector, a photon flux of 1 x 10(7) photons/(microm2 s) can be achieved with the current source. The applicability of the presented pinch plasma concept to soft x-ray microscopy is demonstrated in a proof-of-principle experiment.

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