Short-wave XUV imaging: High funding amount for new research group in Jena


In a new cooperation between the Helmholtz Institute Jena, a branch of GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, and Friedrich Schiller University Jena, a research group is investigating novel imaging methods in the short-wave XUV spectral range. The project will initially run for three years and is being funded by the Free State of Thuringia and the European Social Fund Plus of the European Union with a total of around 900,000 euros, split equally between the partners.

Due to its short wavelengths, the XUV spectral range (extreme ultraviolet radiation) has gained substantial importance for both the production and imaging of the smallest structures in the nanometer range. In recent years, a series of breakthroughs in the generation and application of spatially coherent XUV radiation have been achieved in Jena. With its capability of interference with high contrast, this offers a fundamental advantage over spatially incoherent radiation, and fulfills the basic requirement for many modern measurement and imaging methods. In addition, XUV radiation has a significantly greater penetration depth and sensitivity to the composition of the sample compared to electrons, making this spectral range even more attractive.

Based on previous work on the generation and application of spatially coherent XUV radiation, the research group aims to develop additional imaging modalities with enormous application potential, including biology and materials science, and is also set to open up the spectral range of soft X-ray radiation. For example, correlated XUV imaging, i.e. a combination of high-resolution XUV microscopy with the widely used and complementary fluorescence microscopy, is to be realized for biological and medical questions. There, XUV microscopy providing structural information will be complemented by functional fluorescence microscopy.

The new research group brings together experts and know-how from physics, biology and materials science in a synergetic way. It is furthermore supported by regional high-tech companies, which form the industrial advisory board, thus promoting the transfer of knowledge and technology and contributing to networking between Thuringian research institutions and Thuringian companies. (BP)

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