X-ray microscopy instrumentation

Our group develops and operates unique instrumentation at a dedicated branch of the soft X-ray beamline at the Australian Synchrotron. We design and implement instrumentation for sub-nanometer positioning and displacement metrology, specimen micro-environment control, X-ray optics, and advanced X-ray detectors. A key part of this work involves modelling and simulation in order to understand and optimise the performance of bespoke instrumentation.

A key component of our X-ray imaging experiments are the diffractive optical elements that are used to produce a nanofocussed X-ray beam. The precision of their fabrication limits the size of the X-ray probe that can be formed while a variety of design and fabrication challenges limit their efficiency. With modern coherent x-ray imaging techniques it is ultimately the efficiency that limits future developments in X-ray microscopy using synchrotron radiation and emerging compact light source technologies. Our research projects in this area focus on the design and fabrication of unconventional kineform diffractive soft X-ray optics for producing nanobeams with exceptionally high efficiency.