Scientists 3D Print Diffractive X-Ray Optics

September 6,2018

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI) in Stuttgart, Germany, have designed and printed highly efficient X-ray lenses, called kinoform zone plates, within a research project. They fabricated novel and highly accurate kinoforms by additive manufacturing using Nanoscribe’s 3D printers. In the published paper the researchers reported the use of synchrotron radiation tests to measure the resolution and high focusing efficiency of the 3D printed lenses that can be used for X-ray microscopy applications, e.g. in medicine and materials science.

X-ray microscopes can image samples with buried features at high resolution and penetration depths. They use X-rays from synchrotrons or other advanced laboratory sources. However, the fabrication of good lenses for focusing X-rays is challenging. High-performance X-ray lenses require complex parabolic 3D geometries, high aspect ratios and nanoscale shape accuracy. These characteristics are mostly impossible to achieve with other manufacturing methods and thus, can only be approximated.

Read the open-access publication on this work here: 3D Nanoprinted Plastic Kinoform X-Ray Optics

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