Getnet K. Tadesse
Abstract: In this Letter, we present a novel, to the best of our knowledge, single-shot method for characterizing focused coherent beams. We utilize a dedicated amplitude-only mask, in combination with an iterative phase retrieval algorithm, to reconstruct the amplitude and phase of a focused beam from a single measured far-field diffraction pattern alone. In a proof-of-principle experiment at a wavelength of 13.5 nm, we demonstrate our new method and obtain an RMS phase error of better than $\lambda /70$. This method will find applications in the alignment of complex optical systems, real-time feedback to adaptive optics, and single-shot beam characterization, e.g., at free-electron lasers or high-order harmonic beamlines.
Abstract: Ptychography enables coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) of extended samples by raster scanning across the illuminating XUV/X-ray beam, thereby generalizing the unique advantages of CDI techniques. Table- top realizations of this method are urgently needed for many applications in sciences and industry. Previously, it was only possible to image features much larger than the illuminating wavelength with table-top ptychography although knife-edge tests suggested sub-wavelength resolution. However, most real-world imaging applications require resolving of the smallest and closely-spaced features of a sample in an extended field of view. In this work, resolving features as small as 2.5 \lambda (45 nm) using a table-top ptychography setup is demonstrated by employing a high-order harmonic XUV source with record-high photon flux. For the first time, a Rayleigh-type criterion is used as a direct and unambiguous resolution metric for high-resolution table-top setup. This reliably qualifies this imaging system for real-world applications e.g. in biological sciences, material sciences, imaging integrated circuits and semiconductor mask inspection.
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Physikalisch-Astronomische Fakultät (2019)
Abstract: Imaging using sources in the XUV and X-ray spectral range combines high resolution with longer penetration depth (compared to electron/ion microscopy) and found applications in many areas of science and technology. Coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) techniques, in addition, lift the performance limitation of conventional XUV/X-ray microscopes imposed by image forming optics and enable diffraction limited resolutions. Until recently, CDI techniques were mainly confined to large scale facilities e.g. synchrotrons and X-ray free electron lasers due to unavailability of suitable table-top XUV/X-ray sources. Tabletop sources based on high-order harmonic generation (HHG) nowadays offer high and coherent photon flux which widened the accessibility of CDI techniques. First imaging experiments already showed the potential of HHG-based setups albeit with limited resolution on features much larger than the illuminating wavelength. So far, table-top CDI systems were not able to resolve sub-100 nm features using performance metrics that can qualify these systems for real world applications. The huge progress in scaling the coherent flux of HHG sources driven by high power femtosecond fiber laser systems presented unique opportunities for reaching new regimes in imaging performance. However, experimental issues with power handling and the onset of so-far-unexplored resolution limits for wavelength-scale features were some of the challenges that needed to be addressed. In this work, CDI experiments with the highest resolutions in different modalities using a highnflux fiber laser driven HHG source are presented. In conventional CDI, a record-high resolution of 13 nm is demonstrated together with the possibility of high speed acquisition with sub-30 nm resolution. In a holographic implementation of CDI, features with a half-distance of 23 nm are resolved which are the smallest features to ever be resolved with a table-top XUV/X-ray imaging system. In addition, waveguiding effects are shown to affect image quality and limit the achievable resolution in these wavelength-sized features. Ptychographic imaging of extended samples is also performed using a reliable Rayleigh-like resolution metric and resolving of features as small as 2.5 λ (sub-50 nm) is demonstrated. Together with the significant reduction in measurement times, the imaging results presented push the performance of table-top CDI systems a step closer to that required for real world applications. The scalability of the HHG flux at higher photon energies (soft X-rays) with the power of the driving fiber laser system promises to deliver imaging setups with few nanometer resolutions in the near future. These systems can find applications in material and biological sciences, study of ultrafast dynamics, imaging of semiconductor structures and EUV lithographic mask inspection.
Abstract: Modern laser-based XUV light sources provide very high photon fluxes which have previously only been available at large scale facilities. This allows high-performance XUV nanoscale imaging to be implemented in a table-top manner, and thus qualifies XUV imaging as a novel imaging technique complementing electron and visible-light microscopy. This article presents the current state-of-the-art in table-top XUV light sources and matched coherent imaging schemes. Selected experiments demonstrate the unique capabilities of XUV imaging—namely, nanoscale (sub-20 nm) resolution, single shot imaging, imaging of extended samples and 3D imaging of µm-sized objects. In addition, future prospects will be discussed, including scaling to few-nm resolution, extension to the soft x-ray spectral region, chemically-specific imaging at absorption edges and time-resolved imaging on femtosecond time-scales.
Abstract: Today, coherent imaging techniques provide the highest resolution in the extreme ultraviolet (XUV) and X-ray regions. Fourier transform holography (FTH) is particularly unique, providing robust and straightforward image reconstruction at the same time. Here, we combine two important advances: First, our experiment is based on a table-top light source which is compact, scalable and highly accessible. Second, we demonstrate the highest resolution ever achieved with FTH at any light source (34 nm) by utilizing a high photon flux source and cutting-edge nanofabrication technology. The performance, versatility and reliability of our approach allows imaging of complex wavelength-scale structures, including wave guiding effects within these structures, and resolving embedded nanoscale features, which are invisible for electron microscopes. Our work represents an important step towards real-world applications and a broad use of XUV imaging in many areas of science and technology. Even nanoscale studies of ultra-fast dynamics are within reach.
Abstract: We present a table-top coherent diffractive imaging (CDI) experiment based on high-order harmonics generated at 18 nm by a high average power femtosecond fiber laser system. The high photon flux, narrow spectral bandwidth, and high degree of spatial coherence allow for ultrahigh subwavelength resolution imaging at a high numerical aperture. Our experiments demonstrate a half-pitch resolution of 15 nm, close to the actual Abbe limit of 12 nm, which is the highest resolution achieved from any table-top extreme ultraviolet (XUV) or x-ray microscope. In addition, sub-30 nm resolution was achieved with only 3 s of integration time, bringing live diffractive imaging and three-dimensional tomography on the nanoscale one step closer to reality. The current resolution is solely limited by the wavelength and the detector size. Thus, table-top nanoscopes with only a few-nanometer resolutions are in reach and will find applications in many areas of science and technology.
Abstract: Lensless coherent diffractive imaging usually requires iterative phase-retrieval for recovering the missing phase information. Holographic techniques, such as Fourier-transform holography (FTH) or holography with extended references (HERALDO), directly provide this phase information and thus allow for a direct non-iterative reconstruction of the sample. In this paper, we analyze the effect of detector noise on the reconstruction for FTH and HERALDO with linear and rectangular references. We find that HERALDO is more sensitive to this type of noise than FTH, especially if rectangular references are employed. This excessive noise, caused by the necessary differentiation step(s) during reconstruction in case of HERALDO, additionally depends on the numerical implementation. When considering both shot-noise and detector noise, we find that FTH provides a better signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) than HERALDO if the available photon flux from the light source is low. In contrast, at high photon flux HERALDO provides better SNR and resolution than FTH. Our findings will help in designing optimum holographic imaging experiments particularly in the photon-flux-limited regime where most ultrafast experiments operate.
Abstract: Unraveling and controlling chemical dynamics requires techniques to image structural changes of molecules with femtosecond temporal and picometer spatial resolution. Ultrashort-pulse x-ray free-electron lasers have significantly advanced the field by enabling advanced pump-probe schemes. There is an increasing interest in using table-top photon sources enabled by high-harmonic generation of ultrashort-pulse lasers for such studies. We present a novel high-harmonic source driven by a 100 kHz fiber laser system, which delivers 10^11 photons/s in a single 1.3 eV bandwidth harmonic at 68.6 eV. The combination of record-high photon flux and high repetition rate paves the way for time-resolved studies of the dissociation dynamics of inner-shell ionized molecules in a coincidence detection scheme. First coincidence measurements on CH3I are shown and it is outlined how the anticipated advancement of fiber laser technology and improved sample delivery will, in the next step, allow pump-probe studies of ultrafast molecular dynamics with table-top XUV-photon sources. These table-top sources can provide significantly higher repetition rates than the currently operating free-electron lasers and they offer very high temporal resolution due to the intrinsically small timing jitter between pump and probe pulses.