EUV and X-Ray Microscopy

Our range of services

Microscopy with radiation in the extreme ultraviolet range (EUV) or with soft X-rays (especially at wavelengths in the range of 2 nm to 13 nm) is used in structural analysis or in material science and makes it possible to examine, for example, biological samples at high-resolution.

For example, cryo-fixation can be used to produce three-dimensional images of whole cells at a resolution in the range of a few tens of nanometers. When markers are used, time-consuming sectioning and subsequent examination with an electron microscope are no longer needed. In semiconductor electronics, current-carrying conductors can be examined at high resolution, making it possible to visually detect the formation of defects.

The effective use of this technology requires large radiation fluxes on the sample, which can usually only be generated at electron storage rings. In this context, the Fraunhofer ILT scientists are developing plasma sources using pulsed high-current gas discharges and corresponding high-intensity source-collector systems that enable them to construct powerful EUV and X-ray microscopes on a laboratory scale. The institute’s extensive experience with this beam source concept can also be used, in particular, in the field of EUV lithography.

The range of services we offer includes feasibility studies for customer-specific tasks, the development of adapted radiation sources and microscopy methods, and individual consulting.

Discharge-based EUV radiation source for wavelengths in the range 2 - 20 nm.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Discharge-based EUV radiation source for wavelengths in the range 2 - 20 nm.
EUV nanostructuring facility.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
EUV nanostructuring facility.
Source-collector system for extreme ultraviolet radiation.
© Fraunhofer ILT, Aachen, Germany.
Source-collector system for extreme ultraviolet radiation.

Plasma-Based EUV Beam Sources

  • Radiation sources for EUV lithography
  • Radiation sources for X-ray microscopy
  • Power electronics
  • Generators for high pulsed currents, fast data acquisition and control of pulsed radiation sources

Plasma Generation and Diagnostics

  • Gas discharge and laser induced plasmas
  • Spectroscopy from the soft X-ray to the IR range
  • Analysis of radiation fluxes
  • Analysis of plasma parameters
  • High-speed photography
  • Plasma modeling

System Solutions

  • Design of optical systems for EUV applications
  • Optics simulation
  • Integration of plasma-based radiation sources
  • Realization of complete systems
  • Systems for accelerated lifetime testing of EUV components

Applications with EUV Radiation

  • X-ray microscopy
  • EUV microscopy for mask inspection
  • EUV reflectometry, analysis of surfaces and layer systems
  • Nanostructuring with interference lithography


Laser technology can solve demanding tasks in many different industries. Whether as a tool in automotive production, as measuring equipment in the environmental sector, as a diagnostic or therapeutic instrument in medical technology or as a communication medium in space technology, the laser provides multiple uses with high productivity and high efficiency.

Read up about the innovations of the Fraunhofer ILT in a few selected industries and convince yourself!


Research with us!

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about general topics! Our contact persons are happy to get in touch with you.

Our services cover a wide range of topics. Related topics and further research and development projects can be found under the following links.