Diffraction of partially coherent X-ray waves by Clessidra lenses

L. De Caro, W. Jark, R.H. Menk, M. Matteucci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


When small triangular prisms are arranged in arrays which have an overall appearance like an hourglass (in Italian: clessidra) they can focus X-rays owing to a combined action of diffraction and refraction. From the optical point of view these objects can be regarded as a Fresnel variant of concave transmission lenses. Consequently they can provide larger apertures than purely refractive lenses. However, one has to recognize that clessidra lenses will strongly diffract as the lens structure is periodic in the direction perpendicular to the incident beam. In experiments the diffraction is reduced because it is difficult to illuminate the large apertures with a full spatially coherent wavefront. So the illumination is at best partially coherent. In order to interpret available experimental data for this condition, diffraction theory has been applied appropriately to the clessidra structure, taking into account the limited spatial coherence. The agreement between the theoretical simulations and experimental data is very good, keeping the lens properties at their projected values and allowing for only two free model parameters. The first is the lateral spatial coherence; the second is a lens defect, a rounding of all edges and tips in the structure. Both values obtained from the simulations have been found to be in agreement with expectations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)606-611
JournalJournal of Synchrotron Radiation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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