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World’s sharpest X-ray beam developed

Scientists have successfully generated the world’s sharpest X-ray beam which is ten thousand times thinner than a strand of hair. This fine beam of X-ray light barely 5 nanometres in diameter, created by researchers led by Professor Tim Salditt from the University of Gottingen, allows focusing on smallest details. “Instead of a common lens, we use a so-called Fresnel lens which consists of several layers,” said co-author Dr Markus Osterhoff.

The central support is a fine tungsten wire with the thickness of only a thousandth of a millimetre. Around the wire, nanometre—thin silicon and tungsten layers are applied in an alternating way. The physicists then cut a thin slice from the coated wire.

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