Published in:

Journal of Research of the National Institute of Standards and Technology 111,3 (2006) 219-225;


We describe the distinction between the operation of a short focal length x-ray microscope forming a real image with a laboratory source (convergent illumination) and with a highly collimated intense beam from a synchrotron light source (Kohler illumination). We demonstrate the distinction with a Kirkpatrick-Baez microscope consisting of short focal length multilayer mirrors operating at an energy of 8 keV. In addition to realizing improvements in the resolution of the optics, the synchrotron radiation microscope is not limited to the usual single magnification at a fixed image plane. Higher magnification images are produced by projection in the limit of geometrical optics with a collimated beam. However, in distinction to the common method of placing the sample behind the optical source of a diverging beam, we describe the situation in which the sample is located in the collimated beam before the optical element. The ultimate limits of this magnification result from diffraction by the specimen and are determined by the sample position relative to the focal point of the optic. We present criteria by which the diffraction is minimized.


diffraction limit;; kirkpatrick-baez;; microscopy;; multilayer mirror;; x-ray optics;; plasmas

Date of this Version

January 2006



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.