IKBFU physicists have designed a new model of a variable focus lens called a mini transfocator. It may be used in microscopic research that requires compact and mobile optical systems. The development was supported by the Ministry of Education and Science with a grant (No. 14. Y26.31.0002). The results were published in the Microscopy and Microanalysis journal.
Lens optical systems and X-ray lenses are currently used in microscopy for making high-resolution X-ray images, and for focusing X-rays to a submicron scale. To focus X-rays, one can change the number or the combination of lenses. To do so, scientists use variable focus lenses or transfocators. These are systems with adjustable lenses that can be removed or added to an X-ray beam to regulate the focus distance. The configuration of a transfocator is easily changeable, therefore, it is used for initial focusing in combination with other focusing elements, and also as an independent focusing device in a beam.
Dr Anatoly Snigirev, the Cogerent Optics research supervisor (IKBFU):
These are the methods we suggested and successfully promoted at the ESRF synchrotron in France and at the German PETRA-III synchrotron at DESY. But for them to work, we need light and mobile transfocators. They should be easy to install and to adjust in the direction of a scattered or diffracted beam.
Participants of the experimental studies represent the European Molecular and Biological Laboratory in Hamburg (Germany) and the Research Accelerator Complex ESRF (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) in Grenoble (France).
Fig. 1. Mini transfocator for X-rays microscopy. Source: A. Narikovich, P. Ershov, I. Lyatun, I. Panormov, A. Sinitsyn and A. Snigirev.