X-Ray Zone Plates

Fresnel zone plate optics designed for the most demanding applications

High Efficiency, Resolution, and Quality with Low Prices

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.

Our Advantage


Soft X-Ray Specifications

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.

Device Outer Zone Width ΔRn (nm) Thickness (µm) Outer Diameter (µm) (# of zones) E/ΔE Limit ~ Focal Length (µm)
SZP‑90um‑15nm 15 <0.07 90 1514 325
SZP‑120um‑15nm 120 2019 433
SZP‑200um‑18nm 18 <0.15 200 2797 868
SZP‑270um‑18nm 270 3775 1172
SZP‑320um‑18nm 320 4473 1389
SZP-200um-25nm 25 <0.24 200 2007 1207
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
TZP‑280um‑50nm 280 1401 3384
TZP‑750um‑200nm 200 <0.75 750 938 36292
TZP‑1250um‑200nm 1250 1563 60487
 *For estimated efficiency of zone plate, please see our online calculator at www.appliednt.com/zpcalc

Hard X-Ray Specifications

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)
HZP-50-25nm 25 >0.65 50 500 1.5 to 10
HZP-75-25nm 75 750
HZP‑100um‑42.5nm  42.5 >0.8 100 588 2 to 12
HZP‑85um‑50nm 50 >0.9 85 425 2  to 12
HZPX‑85um‑50nm >1.25 5.5 to 20
HZP‑180um‑50nm >0.9 180  900  2 to 12
HZP‑550um‑50nm >0.9 550 2750 2 to 12
HZPX‑550um‑50nm >1.25 5.5 to 20
HZP-400um-100nm  100 >1.2 400 1000  2.5 to 8
HZPX‑400um‑100nm >2.6 8 to 30
HZP‑400um‑120nm  120 >1.5 400 834  5 to 25
HZPX‑400um‑120nm >2.6  8 to 30
HZP‑750um‑200nm  200 >2.2 750 938  7 to 20
HZPX‑750um‑200nm  200 >3.6  12 to 50
 *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).

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 Plate Materials

We offer a range of different materials, all chosen to provide the maximum resolution and efficiency for different energies. We currently offer as different materials for zone plates: Au, Cu, Mo, Ni, W, Pt, and free-standing silicon nitride. To compare the different materials, see our zone plate calculator at www.appliednt.com/zpcalc

Copper Zone Plate with 250 um diameter and 80 nm outer zones

Copper zone plate with 250 µm diameter and 80 nm outer zones

Copper Zone Plate

SEM image of copper zone plate with 250 µm diameter and 25 nm outer zones

zone plate

Central Stops and Outer Blockers

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.

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.

XY Stage for Zone Plate/ Central Stop Alignment

Our custom XY stage allows micro-scale alignment of a central stop and zone plate and also allows for a possible blast-shield to be mounted. The outer dimensions of the XY stage are 19 mm wide x 19 mm tall x 5.1 mm deep and is made of lightweight aluminum. Threaded M2 screw holes are provided for straightforward attachment to any existing experimental setups.