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Lenseless X-ray nano-tomography down to 150 nm resolution: On the quantification of modulation transfer and focal spot of the lab-based ntCT system

: Graetz, J.; Müller, D.; Balles, A.; Fella, C.


Journal of Instrumentation 16 (2021), Nr.1, Art. P01034, 14 S.
ISSN: 1748-0221
Fraunhofer IIS ()

The ntCT nano tomography system is a geometrically magnifying X-ray microscopy system integrating the recent Excillum NanoTube nano-focus X-ray source and a CdTe photon counting detector from Dectris. The system's modulation transfer function (MTF) and corresponding point spread function (PSF) are characterized by analyzing the contrast visibility of periodic structures of a star pattern featuring line width from 150 nm to 1.5 μm. The results, which can be attributed to the characteristics of the source spot, are crosschecked by scanning the source's electron focus over an edge of the structured transmission target in order to obtain an independent measurement of its point spread function. For frequencies above 1000 linepairs/mm, the MTF is found to correspond to a Gaussian PSF of 250 nm full width at half maximum (FWHM) . The lower frequency range down to 340 linepairs/mm shows an additional Gaussian contribution of 1 μm FWHM . The resulting resolution ranges at 3200 linepairs/mm, which is consistent with the visual detectability of the smallest 150 nm structures within the imaged star pattern.