The ALBA synchrotron radiation facility (Barcelona, Spain) will be opened for users in spring 2012.
The full-field Transmission X-ray Microscopy beamline MISTRAL is one of the seven phase-I beamlines at ALBA. It is devoted to cryo nano-tomography in the water window and multi-keV spectral regions (E= 270 eV–2600 eV) for biological applications. In addition, spectroscopic imaging (a series of 2D images over a range of X-ray wavelengths) at several interesting X-ray absorption edges can be performed.
The Transmission X-ray Microscope (TXM) works from 270 eV to 1200 eV. A single-reflection elliptical glass capillary condenser focuses monochromatic light on to the sample, which is at cryo-temperature. The transmitted signal is collected by an objective Fresnel zone plate (of 25 nm or 40 nm outermost zone widths) and a magnified image is delivered to a direct illuminated CCD camera. The routinely expected spatial resolution in 2D is 30 nm and ~ 50 nm for tomographies. An upgrade of the microscope to higher energies (i.e. Zernike phase contrast at 2600 eV) is planned, as well as the development of correlated fluorescence visible light microscopy. Facilities for sample cryo-preparation as well as software reconstruction and analysis are available for the users.