Compact x-ray microscope for the water window based on a high brightness laser plasma source
We present a laser plasma based x-ray microscope for the water window employing a high-average power laser system for plasma generation. At 90 W laser power a brightness of 7.4 × 10(exp 11) photons/(s x sr × µm2) was measured for the nitrogen Ly alpha line emission at 2.478 nm. Using a multilayer condenser mirror with 0.3 % reflectivity 10(exp 6) photons/(µm2 × s) were obtained in the object plane. Microscopy performed at a laser power of 60 W resolves 40 nm lines with an exposure time of 60 s. The exposure time can be further reduced to 20 s by the use of new multilayer condenser optics and operating the laser at its full power of 130 W.