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High speed and high resolution table-top nanoscale imaging

: Tadesse, G.K.; Klas, R.; Demmler, S.; Hädrich, S.; Wahyutama, I.; Steinert, M.; Spielmann, C.; Zürch, M.; Pertsch, T.; Tünnermann, A.; Limpert, J.; Rothhardt, J.


Optics Letters 41 (2016), Nr.22, S.5170-5173
ISSN: 0146-9592
Fraunhofer IOF ()

We present a table-top coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) experiment based on high-order harmonics generated at 18 nm by a high average power femtosecond fiber laser system. The high photon flux, narrow spectral bandwidth, and high degree of spatial coherence allow for ultrahigh subwavelength resolution imaging at a high numerical aperture. Our experiments demonstrate a half-pitch resolution of 15 nm, close to the actual Abbe limit of 12 nm, which is the highest resolution achieved from any table-top extreme ultraviolet (XUV) or x-ray microscope. In addition, sub-30 nm resolution was achieved with only 3 s of integration time, bringing live diffractive imaging and three-dimensional tomography on the nanoscale one step closer to reality. The current resolution is solely limited by the wavelength and the detector size. Thus, table-top nanoscopes with only a few-nanometer resolutions are in reach and will find applications in many areas of science and technology.