Lab Spotlight

Nanoscale Canyons

FLC BNLNanoscaleCanyons 1436969430

This red-rock landscape offers a window into the engineering behind precision multilayer Laue lenses (MLL) designed to focus high-intensity x-rays to within a single nanometer. A scanning electron microscope captured this view from the bottom of a trench carved by reactive ion etching, one of the methods of preparing these high-precision optics.

Completed MLLs will be installed at BNL’s National Synchrotron Light Source II, and will reveal the structural details of tiny objects with huge impacts, such as nanocatalysts, that drive sustainable energy innovations. MLLs, which have been in development for years at NSLS-II, are made of thousands of layers, grown one layer at a time. They are an alternative to the more commonly used zone plates, and are predicted to provide better spatial resolution and more efficiently focus the hard x-ray beams provided by NSLS-II.

Lab Spotlight