Phase and intensity control through diffractive optical elements in X-ray microscopy

Enzo Di Fabrizio*, Dan Cojoc, Stefano Cabrini, Matteo Altissimo, Burkhard Kaulich, Thomas Wilhein, Jean Susini, Olivier Dhez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Diffractive optics now plays a major role in optical systems for the extreme ultraviolet and X-ray region. For example, zone plates in their different appearances are widely used for focusing X-rays, as monochromatizing condenser optics, and for high resolution imaging, particularly in X-ray microscopy. The idea in this paper is based upon a more general approach to solve optical problems by transforming a given light distribution or wave as input into the desired waveform on the output of a single X-ray optical component. In this paper we present the design, fabrication and use of novel phase diffractive optical elements (DOEs) that, besides simple focusing, can perform new optical functions in the range of X-rays. Using our own code, we calculated and fabricated through e-beam and X-ray lithography high-resolution DOEs that can generate a constant intensity on a plane (top-hat DOE) or focus a monochromatic X-ray beam into multiple spots. The possibility to introduce a specified phase shift between the generated spots, which can increase the image contrast, is demonstrated by experimental results obtained from computer simulations and experiments performed between 3 and 7.2 keV in both full-field and scanning X-ray microscopy at the ID21 beamline of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)957-961
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Electron Spectroscopy and Related Phenomena
StatePublished - Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Beam shaping
  • Differential interference contrast microscopy
  • Diffractive optical elements
  • X-ray microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Radiation
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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