We have developed a multilevel-type multilayer X-ray lens (Fresnel zone plate, FZP) using sputter deposition. Such a multilevel-type FZP can attain high diffraction efficiency which results in the reduction of radiation damage to biological specimens and the simplification of the X-ray optical system because unwanted diffraction orders are considerably suppressed. Previously, we have reported the effectiveness (i.e., realizing high diffraction efficiency) of a multilevel multilayer FZP with 4-step structure. This paper presents two experimental results on the FZP: (1) the focusing test of a multilayer FZP with 6-step structure in order to realize higher efficiency and (2) the change over time of the focusing characteristic of the FZP with 4-step structure. For (1), the diffraction efficiency of the 1st order focus and the focused beam size measured by knife-edge scanning were found to be more than 50% and 0.8 μm, respectively, at 41.3 keV, and superior to the previous results. For (2), no significant differences have been observed: it can be said that the multilevel FZP is stable at least for 9 months. © 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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