X-Ray Zone Plates

The highest quality x-ray optics with proven resolution, efficiency and reliability at low costs for soft and hard x-rays for ptychography, STXM, TXM and phase contrast imaging.

State-of-the-art sub 20 nm Fresnel zone plate (FZP) optics for X-ray focusing and microscopy applications, including phase contrast, ptychography, and general imaging in both soft and hard X-Ray regimes. Our zone plates are used in beamlines throughout the world utilizing traditional STXM (Scanning transmission X-ray microscopy), Transmission X-ray Microscope (TXM), as well as methods including  ptychography and phase contrast imaging.

Zone Plate Fresnel Hard X-Ray High Aspect Ratio

SEM Image of hard X-Ray 25 nm resolution zone plate


 Fresnel Zone Plate Calculator Utilization of different metals (gold or nickel) allows for increased efficiency over a range of energies. Image generated from the ANT zone plate software.
High Resolution 18 nm outer zone plate design High resolution zone plates provide highest resolution and efficiency over a large range of energies. With 18 nm (Δr) resolution zone plate offers high resolution along with above 20% efficiency in the water window. Image of 18 nm Au FZP with 270 µm diameter and central stop design.
Large Diameter X-Ray Fresnel Zone Plate Applied Nanotool’s zone plates can be used for various applications including ptychography with large diameters and <1 nm stitching errors across several millimeters. Image of ~0.85 mm diameter zone plate.
Phase Contrast Imaging Zone Plates High phase contrast imaging for hard X-ray applications with resolution 50 nm and below. Uniformity across the zones is a critical component for high phase contrast imaging.

Soft X-Ray Specification

X-rays below 5 keV (<~0.25 nm) are typically classified as soft X-rays, where they are more readily absorbed than higher energy X-rays. Typically, zone plates do not require the same thickness for efficiency and allow for higher resolution imaging.

A range of zone plate options for soft/tender X-Rays are available for specific requirements.

Download our brochure

Device Outer Zone Width ΔRn (nm) Thickness (µm) Outer Diameter (µm) (# of zones) E/ΔE Limit ~ Focal Length (µm) Estimated Lead Time
NZP-50um-12nm 12 0.05 + 0.01 50 1059 144 Please Contact
NZP-65um-15nm 15 65 1096 235
SZP‑90um‑15nm 15 <0.1 90 1514 325 2-3
SZP‑120um‑15nm 120 2019 433
SZP‑200um‑18nm 18 <0.15 200 2797 868 In Stock
SZP‑270um‑18nm 270 3775 1172
SZP‑320um‑18nm 320 4473 1389
SZP-200um-25nm 25 <0.24 200 2007 1207 In Stock
SZP‑250um‑25nm 250 2509 1510
SZP-300um-25nm 300 3010 1811
SZP-360um-25nm 360 3612 2173
TZP‑160um‑50nm 50 <0.75 160 801 1934 2 – 3
TZP‑280um‑50nm 280 1401 3384
TZP‑750um‑200nm 200 <0.75 750 938 36292 1 – 3
TZP‑1250um‑200nm 1250 1563 60487
 *For estimated efficiency of zone plate, please see generated graphs below or download our zone plate software.



Hard X-Ray Specification

X-Rays above 5-10 keV transition from tender to hard X-Rays where they are better able to penetrate through samples to give better imaging. Hard X-ray Fresnel zone plates require high aspect ratio features to offer sufficient efficiency and resolution for energies above 5 keV. Our current optics give ultra-high resolution for sub 25 nm – 100 nm imaging depending on the required energy. Stacking of hard X-rays (either through double processing or chip alignment) can significantly increase the efficiency of our devices.

A range of zone plate options for hard X-Rays are available for specific requirements.

Device Outer Zone Width ΔRn (nm) Thickness (µm) Outer Diameter (µm) (# of zones) E/ΔE Limit Energy Range (keV) Estimated Lead Time (months)
HZP-50-25nm 25 >0.65 50 500 1.5 to 10 2 – 3
HZP-75-25nm 75 750 2 – 3
HZP‑100um‑42.5nm  42.5 >0.8 100 588 2 to 12 2 – 3
HZP‑85um‑50nm 50 >0.9 85 425 2  to 12 2 – 3
HZPX‑85um‑50nm >1.7 5.5 to 20 4 – 6
HZP‑180um‑50nm >0.9 180  900  2 to 12 2 – 3
HZP‑550um‑50nm >0.9 550 2750 2 to 12 2 – 3
HZPX‑550um‑50nm >1.5 5.5 to 20 4 – 6
HZP-400um-100nm  100 >1.2 400 1000  2.5 to 8 2 – 3
HZPX‑400um‑100nm >2.6 8 to 30 4 – 6
HZP‑400um‑120nm  120 >1.5 400 834  5 to 25 2 – 3
HZPX‑400um‑120nm >2.6  8 to 30 4 – 5
HZP‑750um‑200nm  200 >2.2 750 938  7 to 20 3 – 4
HZPX‑750um‑200nm  200 >3.6  12 to 50 4 – 5
 *For estimated efficiency of zone plate, please see generated graphs below or download our zone plate software. All zone plate diameters can be customized for specific setups. Standard frame sizes are 3 mm x 3 mm with SiN membranes (100 nm).

To inquire about purchasing zone plates through Applied Nanotools, please contact us at sales@appliednt.com or fill out an inquiry here.

Oxide Interlock Process for Hard X-Ray Optics

Zone plate efficiency for binary zone plates requires high aspect ratio structures which can survive high flux imaging systems. The “Oxide Interlock” option creates small interconnecting channels between metal zone of silicon dioxide which is transparent to hard X-rays and does not swell or distort, even when not under vacuum. These have been shown to significantly increase the zone plate efficiency and lifetime.

Zone Plates with Oxide Interlock for Synchrotron and laser sources

Oxide Interlock process with silicon dioxide links between the gold zones, improving performance and lifetime of the zone plate optics. This comes standard on all hard X-ray optics. The silicon dioxide is highly transparent for hard X-rays.

Central Stops

Central stop and outer blocker options significantly improve zone plate imaging, with reduction of the 0th order and improved lifetime of the optics. Various Thicknesses up to 3 µm on chip are available or >10 µm as a separate chip.

Fresnel Zone Plate Central Stop X-Ray

4 um thick central stop electroplated on top of Fresnel zone plate with high resolution 18 nm outer zones

Custom Designs and Frame Sizes

Custom designs and frame sizes can be developed for specific applications. We are able to fabricate devices down to 0.1 mm and below. Our standard frame sizes are 5 mm x 5 mm and membrane thickness can be down to 50 nm while the 100 nm thickness is ideal for energies above 5 keV. We also offer silicon carbide membranes for those requiring long-lifetime membranes.

Silicon nitride carbide membranes

Custom silicon nitride, silicon carbide or silicon membranes down to 0.9 mm half dimensions. Image above showing 1 cm x 1 cm (top), 5 mm x 5 mm (bottom left) and 0.9 mm x 5 mm chips.

Zone Plate Calculator

Applied Nanotools offers a free online zone plate calculating theoretical efficiencies and for calculating Fresnel zone plates parameters. Please see this link to visit the webpage: Zone Plate Calculator. For the legacy software please download here (note, this version is being replaced with the new website version).

Zone Plate Calculation

Zone Plate Calculation Software from Applied Nanotools

Ordering Information

For product inquiries and quotations, please submit an inquiry using our online form or e-mail us at info@appliednt.com.