X-ray imaging in differential interference contrast (DIC) with submicrometer optical resolution was performed by using a twin zone plate (TZP) setup generating focal spots closely spaced within the TZP spatial resolution of 160 nm. Optical path differences introduced by the sample are recorded by a CCD camera in a standard full-field imaging and by an aperture photodiode in a standard scanning transmission x-ray microscope. Applying this x-ray DIC technique, we demonstrate for both the full-field imaging and scanning x-ray microscope methods a drastic increase in image contrast (approximately 20×) for a low-absorbing specimen, similar to the Nomarski DIC method for visible-light microscopy.
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