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Imaging Print


The wavelengths of soft x-ray photons (1–15 nm) are very well matched to the creation of "nanoscopes" capable of probing the interior structure of biological cells and inorganic mesoscopic systems.Topics addressed by soft x-ray imaging techniques include cell biology, nanomagnetism, environmental science, and polymers. The tunability of synchrotron radiation is absolutely essential for the creation of contrast mechanisms. Cell biology CAT scans are performed in the "water window" (300–500 eV). Nanomagnetism studies require the energy range characteristic of iron, cobalt, and nickel (600–900 eV).

Mid- and far-infrared (energies below 1 eV) microprobes using synchrotron radiation are being used to address problems such as chemistry in biological tissues, chemical identification and molecular conformation, environmental biodegradation, mineral phases in geological and astronomical specimens, and electronic properties of novel materials. Infrared synchrotron radiation is focused through, or reflected from, a small spot on the specimen and then analyzed using a spectrometer. Tuning to characteristic vibrational frequencies serves as a sensitive fingerprint for molecular species. Images of the various species are built up by raster scanning the specimen through the small illuminated spot.

Lithography, a technique used in the art world for many centuries, has been adopted and adapted with phenomenal success by the high-tech industry. In microchip manufacturing, a silicon wafer is coated with a thin layer of photosensitive material called a resist. An image of a mask containing the desired pattern is projected onto the resist. The exposed (or unexposed) parts of the resist are etched away and, with further processing, the desired circuit is built up. The same basic process can be used in the manufacture of small mechanical components. Work at synchrotron light sources focuses primarily on the exposures of the resists.


Selected Imaging Highlights


Iron is the Key to Preserving Dinosaur Soft Tissue

Research Finds Vitamin D Deficiency Affects Bone Quality

Reversing the Circulation of Magnetic Vortices

Mapping Particle Charges in Battery Electrodes

Space-Age Ceramics Get Their Toughest Test

The Importance of Domain Size and Purity in High-Efficiency Organic Solar Cells

New Species of Cyanobacteria Forms Intracellular Carbonates

Not All Nanodisk Magnetic Vortices Are Created Equally

Lensless Imaging of Magnetic Nanostructures

Lensless X-Ray Imaging in Reflection

Bioactive Glass Scaffolds for Bone Regeneration

Direct Imaging of Antiferromagnetic Vortex States

A New Light on Disordered Ensembles

Heterogeneous Morphology Found in Organic Solar Cells

Paving the Way to Nanoelectronics 16 nm and Smaller

Structure of All-Polymer Solar Cells Impedes Efficiency

Real-Time Chemical Imaging of Bacterial Biofilm Development

Investigating Extreme Ultraviolet Lithography Mask Defects

Irradiation Effects on Human Cortical Bone Fracture Behavior

Lensless Imaging of Whole Biological Cells with Soft X-Rays

Imaging Antifungal Drug Molecules in Action using Soft X-Ray Tomography

X-Ray Imaging of the Dynamic Magnetic Vortex Core Deformation

Stochastic Domain-Wall Depinning in Magnetic Nanowires

Nanoscale Chemical Imaging of a Working Catalyst

Influence of Domain Wall Pinning on the Dynamic Behavior of Magnetic Vortices

Electric Field Control of Local Ferromagnetism with a Magnetoelectric Multiferroic

X-Ray Imaging Current-Driven Magnetic Domain-Wall Motion in Nanowires

First Proof of Ferromagnetic Carbon

Particles from Comet 81P/Wild 2 Viewed by ALS Microscopes