Phase sensitive soft-x-ray microscopy methods enable the study of specimens for which phase effects are a prevalent contrast mechanism. One way to detect these phase effects is to optically implement the radial Hilbert transform by using spiral zone plates (SZPs), which results in the isotropic measurement of the amplitude and phase gradient in a sample. Soft-x-ray microscopy using an SZP as a single element objective lens was demonstrated through the imaging of a circular aperture at a wavelength of . A regular zone plate, a charge 1 SZP, and a charge 2 SZP were fabricated using electron beam lithography and were used as the imaging optic in the microscopy setup. The charge 1 and charge 2 SZP images exhibited isotropic edge enhancement as a result of radial Hilbert filtering.
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