X-ray sources for high throughput and extreme resolutions

Espes, Emil; Excillum AB; Sweden

Espes, E.; Excillum AB; Sweden

ID: ECNDT-0080-2018

The power and brightness of electron-impact micro-focus X-ray tubes have long been limited by thermal damage in the anode. This limit is overcome by the liquid-metal-jet anode technology that has previously demonstrated brightness in the range of one order of magnitude above current state-of-the art sources. This is possible due to the regenerative nature of this anode and the fact that the anode is already molten, which allows for significantly higher e-beam power density than on conventional solid anodes.
Over the last years, the liquid-metal-jet technology has developed from prototypes into fully operational and stable X-ray tubes running in many labs over the world. Key applications include X-ray diffraction and scattering, but recently several publications have also shown very impressive X-ray microscopy results using the liquid-metal-jet anode technology, especially in phase contrast imaging.
To be able to benefit from the higher power-loading capability of the liquid-metal-jet anode, advanced electron optics had to be developed. Based on this advanced electron optics, a new nanofocus x-ray tube has been developed. The foundation of the new nanofocus x-ray tube is the advanced electron optics, combined with a tungsten coated diamond transmission target. The new nanofocus x-ray tube can achieve resolutions down to 150 nm on the standard JIMA RT RC-04 resolution chart.
This presentation will review the current status of the liquid-metal-jet technology specifically in terms of stability, lifetime, flux and brightness, with a clear focus on its applicability for X-ray microscopy. It will also discuss details of the liquid-metal-jet technology with a focus on the fundamental limitations of the technology and refer to some recent data from relevant applications. Furthermore, it will review the state of the development of the new nanofocus x-ray tube.