Scanning luminescence X‐ray microscopy: Imaging fluorescence dyes at suboptical resolution


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33 Scopus citations


Scanning luminescence X‐ray microscopy is based on the use of the very small focused probe of a scanning X‐ray microscope to stimulate visible light emission from phosphors and dyes. Using an undulator X‐ray source and a Fresnel zone plate to produce a focused X‐ray probe, images of P31 phosphor grains with a resolution of 50–75 nm have been obtained, and luminescence from polystyrene spheres loaded with 50–100 μmol/g of fluorescent dye has been imaged. The resolution was not limited by the focused X‐ray probe (the microscope has imaged features at 36‐nm spacing in transmission mode) but by dark noise and the low net efficiency of the luminescence detection system used for this investigation. This technique may make it possible to image dye‐tagged sites of biochemical activity at the resolution of the X‐ray microscope in wet, unsectioned, and unfixed cells, especially with soft X‐ray optimized dyes. Because the image is formed from the detection of signal against a dark background, calculations suggest that the radiation dose for luminescence imaging of dye‐tagged features should be 2–22 times lower than it is in transmission X‐ray microscopy. A possible extension of the technique for three‐dimensional imaging at the transverse resolution of the X‐ray microscope is described, where visible light collection optics might be used to obtain submicrometre axial resolution. 1993 Blackwell Science Ltd

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-129
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1993


  • Fresnel zone plates
  • X‐ray luminescence
  • X‐ray microscopy
  • fluorescence microscopy
  • immunofluorescence
  • soft X‐ray optics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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