Abstract

Digital in-line holography (DIH) offers fast, lensless, and aberration-free imaging with diffraction-limited resolution and inherently combines phase- and amplitude-contrast imaging, as well as three-dimensional imaging. Extending this technique to shorter wavelengths allows increasing the achievable spatial and phase-contrast resolution, as well as accessing material parameters not accessible in the optical domain. In this paper, we report on DIH experiments conducted with a coherent tabletop ultrafast high harmonic source operated at 38 nm wavelength. Applying a twin-image-free reconstruction scheme optimized for highly absorbing samples, we were able to demonstrate the phase-contrast imaging of silicon nitride sheets of 15 nm thickness and the use of the strong absorption of extreme ultraviolet in matter for amplitude-contrast imaging of thin films with spatial resolution below 1 μm. High-resolution morphology determination in combination with phase-contrast imaging is of special importance in thin-film characterization and applications arising thereof.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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