TwinMic Microscope

The TwinMic X-ray spectromicroscope is a world-wide unique instrument that combines full-field imaging with scanning X-ray microscope in a single instrument. The instrument is equipped with versatile contrast modes including absorption or brightfield imaging, differential phase and interference contrast or Zernike phase contrast - as you are used from a visible light microscope. The microscope is operated in the 400 - 2200 eV photon energy range or as equivalent  0.56 - 3 nm wavelengths.
According to the energy and X-ray optics TinwMic can reach sub-100nm spatial resolution.

Full-field Imaging or Transmission X-ray Microscopy

Full-field imaging is the X-ray analogue to a visible light microscope. A condenser illuminates the specimen and an objective lens magnifies the image of the specimen into a spatially resolving detector like a CCD camera. Since the refractive index of X-rays is slightly smaller but almost equal to unity, we cannot use refractive lenses but diffractive focusing lenses, so called zone plates. Full-field imaging is typically applied when highest lateral resolution or dynamic studies (in the second range) is required. The full-field imaging mode is limited in acquiring chemical information but we also perform X-ray absorption spectroscopy in the full-field imaging mode by across absorption edge imaging.

Scanning Transmission X-ray Microscopy

In scanning X-ray microscopy, a diffractive focusing lens forms a microbe and the specimen is raster-scanned on pixel by pixel base across the microprobe. As in other scanning microscopies, this imaging mode allows simultaneous acquisition of different signals by multiple detectors (see below). TwinMic is worldwide unique in combining transmission imaging, absorption spectroscopy and low-energy X-ray Fluorescence, which allows you analyzing simultaneously the morphology and elemental or chemical distribution of your specimen with sub-micron resolution. Scanning X-ray microscopy is non-static operation mode and lateral resolution is therefore limited by the specimen movement accuracy as well as the geometrical demagnification of the X-ray light source.

Morphological analysis with lateral resolutions down to the sub-100nm range

TwinMic offers transmission X-ray microscopy that has up to 10 times higher optical resolution than conventional visible microscopy, combined  with a natural contrast between organic matter and water that allows imaging of specimen in their natural liquid environment without staining. Specimen can be thicker than in electron microscopy due to the higher penetration power of X-rays photons compared to electrons and can provide valuable 'bulk' information. Highest lateral resolution can be achieved with the full-field imaging mode, which is currently about 20 nm using special objective lenses. Other imaging modes as a compromise of X-ray intensity to chemical sensitivity offers much less lateral resolution, in some cases up to 1 micron.

Chemical sensitivity down to parts per million by different microanalytics

One of the most attractive features in the complexity of X-ray microscopy analysis is elemental and chemical speciation. X-ray near absorption spectroscopy identifies the chemical chemical and oxidation state of elements in your specimen. TwinMic is the first instrument worldwide that offers low-energy X-ray Fluorescence specially optimized for the analysis of light elements as they typically occur in life sciences applications.

Last Updated on Friday, 17 April 2015 03:44