The Center for X-Ray Optics is a multi-disciplined research group within Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory's (LBNL) Materials Sciences Division (MSD). Notice to users.

X-ray imaging of nanoscale structures and processes.

XM-1, a soft x-ray full-field microscope.

"Many exciting areas of research require observing the dynamics of nanoscale systems. Researchers from around the world use XM-1's unique combination of 10-nm spatial resolution and 70-ps temporal resolution to study nanoscale properties that are challenging or impossible to see in other ways."

Mi Young Im,
Principal Investigator

Photo of Mi Young, CXRO Staff Scientist

XM-1: The world's highest resolution zoneplate microscope.

XM-1 combines: spatial resolution approaching 10 nm, elemental specificity, 70 ps temporal resolution (set by the bunch length of the x-ray pulses), and high sensitivity to spin configurations (via dichroism effects with polarized x-rays) making it a unique analytical tool for nanoscience research. Every day, scientists working in areas such as spintronics, nanoscale materials science, x-ray optics and environmental sciences come to XM-1 to unlock nanoscale properties that are challenging or impossible to see in other ways.

XM-1 schematic

Schematic of Advanced Light Source (ALS) Beamline 6.2.1: CXRO's XM-1 Microscope

XM-1 specifications

Source Bend magnet
Energy range 500-1300 eV
Monochromator Zone-plate linear
Flux Images with 1000 x 1000 pixels, 1000 photons/pixel recorded in 3 s at 517 eV with 0.2% BW (ALS at 1.9 GeV, 400 mA)
Spectral resolution (E/ΔE) 500-700
Spatial resolution Typical 25 nm (best value 10 nm)
Field of view 15 µm single field; virtually unlimited larger areas can be tiled together like a mosaic
Detector Back-thinned 2048- x 2048-pixel CCD camera
Equipment Various fast electronic pulsers for spin dynamics, fast sampling oscilloscope, polarization selecting aperture

XM-1 sample information

Format Thin films deposited typically on Si3N4 membrane (similar to TEM substrates) or other x-ray-transparent substrates
Preparation Sample dependent
Environment External magnetic fields up to 5 kOe in beam direction and 2 kOe along the sample plane; tilted sample holder for in-plane magnetized samples; He at atmospheric pressure, wet or dry

Visit the XM-1 homepage.

Visit for more information about XM-1.

CXRO's XM-1 team.

Photo of Mi-Young Im

Mi-Young Im

Project Scientist
Photo of Weilun Chao

Weilun Chao

Staff Scientist