The ESRF source properties offer the required coherence and brilliance to extend X-ray microscopy techniques, which have been extensively used in the soft X-ray region, to higher energies. This will enable new investigations such as the study of thicker specimens compared to the soft X-ray region, access to absorption edges of elements of major interest in the biological and materials sciences, in particular from Potassium to Chromium, the use of X-ray fluorescence for trace element mapping with high spatial resolution and the application of phase contrast.
Two microscopes are under development at the ESRF to cover a wide range of biological and material sciences applications:
A scanning transmission X-ray microscope (STXM) working in the photon energy range of 0.5-8keV. Whilst in its simplest form this might consist of taking multiple images of a single sample region at different incident energies, an interesting extension is to perform highly spatially resolved XAS scans on small regions of the sample.