Differential interference contrast x-ray microscopy

Thomas Wilhein, Burkhard Kaulich, Enzo Di Fabrizio, Jean Susini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this contribution, we present a novel technique for converting the specimens phase information into strong image contrast, the differential interference contrast x-ray microscopy (X-DIC). In the used setup, X-DIC operation was accomplished by a zone plate doublet (ZPD), i. e. two zone plates on both sides of the same substrate, laterally shifted by about one outermost zone width. In order to be able to manufacture such ZPDs, new e-beam and nanofabrication techniques have been developed. Once a ZPD has been successfully produced, it is - despite almost all other phase sensitive methods - as easy to use as a single zone plate, without any alignment difficulty or further requirements to the coherence of the illumination. The tremendeous contrast enhancement was demonstrated at the microscopy beamline ID2 at ESRF in Grenoble for test objects and biological samples. It could also be shown that ZPDs allows for full field X-DIC imaging as well as for DIC scanning transmission x-ray microscopy. Though the first experiments were carried out at 4 keV photon energy, X-DIC can be adapted to any photon energy where ZPDs with appropriate parameters can be designed and manufactured.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)163-171
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • X-ray interferometry
  • X-ray microscopy
  • X-ray optics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Differential interference contrast x-ray microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this