X-ray optics

X-ray optics

X-ray optics is the branch of optics which manipulates x-rays instead of visible light. While lenses for visible light are made of a transparent material with an index of refraction substantially different from 1, there is no equivalent material for x-rays. Therefore, the only methods of x-ray manipulation are through reflection, diffraction and interference effects. Examples of technologies in use include grazing incidence mirrors [cite journal |title=Glancing Incidence Mirror Systems as Imaging Optics for X-rays |author=Wolter, H. |journal=Ann. Physik |volume=10 |pages=94 |year=1952] [cite journal |title=A Generalized Schwarschild Mirror Systems For Use at Glancing Incidence for X-ray Imaging |author=Wolter, H. |journal=Ann. Physik |volume=10 |pages=286 |year=1952] [cite web |author=Rob Petre |url=http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/how_l2/xtelescopes_systems.html |title=X-ray Imaging Systems |publisher=NASA] , zone plates, bent crystals [cite conference |title=doi-inline|10.1109/PLASMA.2000.854969|Using spherically bent crystals for obtaining high-resolution, large-field, monochromatic X-ray backlighting imaging for wide range of Bragg angles |author=Pikuz, T.A.; Faenov, A.Ya.; Fraenkel, M.; Zigler, A.; Flora, F.; Bollanti, S.; Di Lazzaro, P.; Letardi, T.; Grilli, A.; Palladino, L.; Tomassetti, G.; Reale, A.; Reale, L.; Scafati, A.; Limongi, T.; Bonfigli, F.; Alainelli, L.; Sanchez del Rio, M. |conference=Plasma Science |year=2000 |booktitle=Proceedings of the 27th IEEE International Conference on Plasma Science |pages=183] , multilayer optics based systems, and microstructured optical arrays [cite journal |title=doi-inline|10.1016/0168-583X(90)90123-C|Channeling of photons and new X-ray optics |author={Kumakhov, MA |journal=Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B |volume=48, |number=1-4 |pages=283--286 |year=1990] .

Most x-ray optical elements (with the exception of grazing incidence mirrors) are very small in size, and must be designed for a particular incident angle and energy, thus limiting their applications in divergent radiation. Although the technology has advanced rapidly, its practical uses are still limited.

One of the applications showing greater promise is in enhancing both the contrast and resolution of mammographic images, compared to conventional anti-scatter grids.


See also

*Wolter telescope A type of X-ray telescope built with glancing incidence mirrors
*Chandra X-ray Observatory Orbiting observatory, uses X-ray optics
*XMM-Newton Orbiting X-ray observatory, again using X-ray optics

External links

* [http://www.albany.edu/x-ray-optics/polycapillary_optics.htm An introduction to X-Ray Optics]

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