High-resolution x-ray observation of unstained samples by a newly developed SGXM
Analytical methods with nanometre-scale resolution are indispensable in various scientific fields, including biology, chemistry and nanotechnology. One suitable tool, the soft x-ray microscope, provides high spatial resolution of unstained specimens. Recently, we developed an x-ray microscope called a scanning electron generation x-ray microscope (SGXM). This system had attached additional x-ray detection equipment to the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Here, we describe a new sample stage containing an improved x-ray emission film that enables the acquisition of high-resolution x-ray images of unstained samples. The method proposed in this study, which uses the new SGXM, enables us to acquire x-ray images by using an intact, conventional SEM without additional x-ray detection equipment. Moreover, experiments demonstrate that the new SGXM achieves a spatial resolution of 11 nm. Therefore, our system can be easily used for acquiring high-resolution images of a variety of samples across a broad range of scientific fields.