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A laboratory-based, low-energy, multi-modal x-ray microscope with user-defined resolution.
Applied Physics Letters  (IF3.971),  Pub Date : 2022-06-08, DOI: 10.1063/5.0082968
Michela Esposito,Lorenzo Massimi,Ian Buchanan,Joseph D Ferrara,Marco Endrizzi,Alessandro Olivo

We report on the development of a low-energy x-ray phase-based microscope using intensity-modulation masks for single-shot retrieval of three contrast channels: transmission, refraction, and ultra-small-angle scattering or dark field. The retrieval method is based on beam tracking, an incoherent and phase-based imaging approach. We demonstrate that the spatial resolution of this imaging system does not depend on focal spot size nor detector pixel pitch, as opposed to conventional and propagation-based x-ray imaging, and it is only dependent on the mask aperture size. This result enables the development of a multi-resolution microscope where multi-scale samples can be explored on different length scales by adjusting only the mask aperture size, without other modifications. Additionally, we show an extended capability of the system to resolve periodic structures below the resolution limit imposed by the mask apertures, which potentially extends dark-field imaging beyond its conventional use.