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X-ray optics is the branch of optics which manipulates x-rays instead of visible light. First proposed by M.A. Kumakhov, it was originally thought out as the reflection of x-rays from smooth surfaces. While lenses for visible light are made of a transparent material with an index of refraction substantially different from 1, there is no equivalent material for x-rays. Therefore, the only methods of x-ray manipulation are through reflection, diffraction and interference effects. Examples of technologies in use include zone plate and multilayer optics based systems and microstructured optical arrays.
Generally, x-ray optical elements are very small in size, and must be designed for a particular incident angle and energy, thus limiting their applications in divergent radiation. Although the technology has advanced rapidly, its practical uses are still limited.
One of the applications showing greater promise is in enhancing both the contrast and resolution of mammographic images, compared to conventional anti-scatter grids.
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "X-ray_optics". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|