A design for a Fourier-transform x-ray holographic microscope to operate in and above the water window is presented. The use of an x-ray laser light source for microscopic imaging offers several advantages. Primarily, imaging of live hydrated biological specimens would be possible with resolution in three dimensions. The beam illuminates both a spherical reference scatterer and the specimen, which can be simultaneously dropped into the path of the beam or statically mounted on a very thin foil. Charge-coupled devices are used for recording, their output being digitized and linked directly to a computer. It is shown that such a configuration is optimum, given the expected properties of a practical x-ray laser source.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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