X-ray microscopy requires radiation of extremely high quality. In order to obtain sharp images instrument and sample must stay absolutely immobile even at the nanometer scale during the recording. Researchers at the Technische Universität München and the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen (Switzerland), have now developed a method that relaxes these hard restrictions. Even fluctuations in the material can be visualized. The renowned journal Nature now reports on their results.
Pierre Thibault of the Technische Universität München and Andreas Menzel, scientist at the Paul Scherrer Institute (Villigen, Switzerland) have now developed an interpretation method that produces reliable images in spite of vibrations of the microscope and even measures fluctuations in the sample itself.
One possible application is to analyze the changing magnetization of individual bits in magnetic storage media and their thermal fluctuations, which ultimately determine the lifetime of magnetic data storage.