Abstract

We present a type of diffractive lens, Zernike apodized photon sieves (ZAPS), used as the objective for high spatial resolution and high phase-contrast imaging of weakly absorbing materials in x rays. The structure of ZAPS is based on the combination of two concepts: apodized photon sieves and Zernike phase contrast. The ZAPS is a single optic that integrates the appropriate ±π/2rad phase shift through selective zone placement shifts in an apodized photon sieve. Analysis of the focusing properties of the apodized photon sieve in terms of point-spread function show that the sidelobes have been significantly suppressed at the expense of slightly widening the width of the main lobe. In combination with synchrotron light sources, ZAPS offers new opportunities for high-resolution phase-contrast x-ray microscopy in the physical and life sciences.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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