Laboratories IKBFU

X-ray Optics Laboratory

General information
The Laboratory studies physical interactions between X-rays and matter. It is led by a prominent, internationally acclaimed scientist Dr Anatoly Snigirev. His team seek to create X-ray focusing devices and relevant coatings as well as to test elements and devices, using synchrotron sources.

The Laboratory’s key objectives are to develop a theoretical framework for, and models of, X-ray optical devices based on nanostructured period 2 elements, to create X-ray optical devices using such materials, and to carry out comprehensive functional studies.

The results of basic and applied studies into X-ray optics and new microscopy methods can be used to create unique marketable and sought-after X-ray focusing devices.

The team have designed, developed, and tested an ultraportable X-ray transfocator based on refractive lenses. This universal tool can serve as a lens or it can be used to adjust the magnification factor for solving various problems of X-ray microscopy. For the first time, it has become possible to apply measurement methods and achieve a measurement range meeting synchrotron beamline requirements, using laboratory facilities.  

Address: Laboratory 105, 6 Gaidara ul., Kaliningrad, 236022, Russia.


Developing a fundamentally new technology for nanoscale X-ray radiation control using nanostructured materials based on period 2 elements

The research conducted by the X-Ray Optics Laboratory has been supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation within a major project aimed to launch national hi-tech production.

The Laboratory team have created prototypes of X-ray focusing devices designed to study materials, objects, and complex structures, using traditional and new methods of nanoscale X-ray diagnostics. Basic research includes analytical studies into design and engineering solutions for nanoscale X-ray optical devices (XRODs) in line with the most significant theoretical X-ray focusing models. Applied research is aimed to calculate the functional parameters of nanoscale XRODs to order to identify the most promising designs, to create nanoscale XROD prototypes, and to test the functional properties of XROD prototypes at the IKBFU, using the SynchrotronLIKE microfocus laboratory X-ray source, and at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF, Grenoble, France).

Nano-carbon composite materials for X-Ray optics

The project has been supported by the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation

Dr Anatoly Snigirev:

“Twenty years ago, my colleagues and I proposed to use refractive optics for focusing and transmitting images. The first lenses were made of aluminium. Later, the beryllium technology was developed. Actually, beryllium – and aluminium – optics remains the most widely used to this day. The problem is that the size of studied objects is gradually decreasing to the nanoscale. Therefore, we need nano-focus high-resolution optics. Beryllium won’t do the trick, since it has a coarse porous structure. Moreover, X-rays scatter when passing through a beryllium lens and artefacts appear on images – photographers call them ‘noises’. There is an urgent need for fundamentally new optics. This means creating ‘stealth’ lenses that are invisible to X-rays. The Laboratory suggests using diamonds and polymers to solve this problem.

“Such lenses will be used in portable X-ray microscopes. They have to be X-ray-homogeneous. This is, they must exclude noises in the images of studied objects. Today, we don’t know any natural materials of the kind. However, we can create such materials ourselves, using additive 3D-printing. This means that an object is created layer by layer instead of being cut out of a piece of metal, stone, or wood.”


Equipment. The Laboratory boasts advanced equipment, including the unique SynchrotronLIKE microfocus laboratory X-ray source, which was designed and assembled by the Laboratory team.

Research Team

Dr Anatoly SnigirevDr Anatoly Snigirev

Head of the Laboratory for X-ray Optics

Phone: +7 (4012) 595-595 (ext 9028)


Office 312, Fabrika Science Park

  • Petr Ershov, Junior Research Fellow

  • Ivan Lyatun, PhD Student

  • Natalya Klimova, PhD Student

  • Maksim Polikarpov, PhD Student

  • Dmitry Zverev, PhD Student

  • Svetlana Medvedeva, PhD Student

  • Polina Medvedskaya, Student

  • Aleksandr Barannikov, Student

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