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Natural Sciences
and Technology

Laser Plasma Radiation Sources

HAWK

Specially Produced Plasma Radiation Sources

In research and industry, there is currently a high demand for intensive radiation sources, which are emitted in the spectral range of vacuum ultraviolet (VUV, 40 - 200 nm) to extreme ultraviolet (EUV, 2 - 40 nm) and right on up to soft X-rays (SXR, 0.2 - 2 nm), and this demand is expected to grow. In X-ray microscopy alone, there are many different applications possible. The developers are currently focusing on tapping into new types of application fields that take advantage of the special properties of short-wave radiation and the advanced development of established radiation sources and optical technologies designed to access new spatial and temporal dimensions.

The vision of a broadly applicable optical basic technology for the micro and nano worlds in the 21st century presumes corresponding radiation sources, which can only be produced today with great time and expense invested and with a limited range of parameters. This reveals an acute deficit as well as an enormous potential for Optical Technologies in their claim to being a forward-looking key technology.

EUV and X-ray technologies are already used widely in applications in micro and nano structuring and in structure analysis, e.g. in the detection of micro and nano defects. Another example of application is X-ray microscopy, which makes it possible to observe biological structures in their natural surroundings (water) in a much higher resolution than is possible with conventional light microscopes. To do so, radiation in the range of the water window, a sub-part of the EUV with wavelengths of 2.33 – 4.36 nm, is used. The scientific study of the interaction between radiation and electrically generated plasmas is an elementary part of the research activities. The basic findings won here are used to adapt the plasma parameters to the specific application.