Abstract

We report on a soft x-ray microscope using a gas-discharge plasma with pseudo spark-like electrode geometry as a light source. The source produces a radiant intensity of 4×1013  photons(sr  pulse) for the 2.88nm emission line of helium-like nitrogen. At a demonstrated 1kHz repetition rate a brilliance of 4.3×109  photons(μm2srs) is obtained for the 2.88nm line. Ray-tracing simulations show that, employing an adequate grazing incidence collector, a photon flux of 1×107  photons(μm2s) can be achieved with the current source. The applicability of the presented pinch plasma concept to soft x-ray microscopy is demonstrated in a proof-of-principle experiment.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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