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Center for X-Ray Optics


Soft X-Ray Microscopy


Scientific disciplines: Magnetism, spin dynamics, x-ray optics, environmental science, materials science





Source characteristics

Bend magnet

Energy range

500-1300 eV


Zone-plate linear

Measured flux (1.9 GeV, 400 mA)

Images with 1000 x 1000 pixels, 1000 photons/pixel recorded in 3 s at 517 eV with 0.2% BW

Resolving power (E/ΔE)



X-ray microscope (XM-1)


Full-field soft x-ray transmission microscope

Spatial resolution

Typical 25 nm (best value 12 nm)


Back-thinned 2048 x 2048-pixel CCD camera


Various fast electronic pulsers for spin dynamics, fast sampling oscilloscope, polarization selecting aperture

Field of view

15 µm single field; virtually unlimited larger areas can be tiled together like a mosaic

Sample format

Thin films (OD=1, for specific sample calculation see deposited typically on Si3N4 membrane (similar to TEM substrates) or other x-ray-transparent substrates

Sample preparation

Sample dependent

Sample environment

External magnetic fields up to 5 kOe in beam direction and 2 kOe along the sample plane; tilted sample holder for in-plane magnetized samples; He at atmospheric pressure, wet or dry

Special notes

Mutual indexing system with visible-light microscopy provided to position and focus sample

Scientific disciplines Magnetism, spin dynamics, x-ray optics, environmental science, materials science

Scientific applications

Transmission imaging x-ray microscopy for magnetic materials (XMCD contrast), materials sciences, environmental sciences.

Experimental Techniques

Microscopy, Magnetic Dichroism, Timing, Ultrafast, Tomography.

Local contact / Spokesperson

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Center for X-Ray Optics, Berkeley Lab
Phone: (510) 486-7052
Fax: (510) 486-4550

Beamline phone number

(510) 495-2061

Website CXRO: