Radiation with shorter illumination wavelength allows for extension of the diffraction limit towards nanometer scale, which is a straightforward way to significantly improve a spatial resolution in photon based microscopes. Soft X-ray (SXR) radiation, from the so called "water window" spectral range, λ=2.3-4.4 nm, which is particularly suitable for biological imaging due to natural optical contrast, providing much better spatial resolution than one obtained with visible light microscopes. The high contrast is obtained because of selective absorption of radiation by carbon and water, being constituents of the biological samples. We present a desk-top system, capable of resolving 60 nm features in few seconds exposure time. We exploit the advantages of a compact, laser-plasma SXR source, based on a double stream nitrogen gas puff target, developed at the Institute of Optoelectronics, Military University of Technology. The source, emitting quasi-monochromatic, incoherent radiation, in the "water widow" spectral range at λ = 2.88 nm, is coupled with ellipsoidal, grazing incidence condenser and Fresnel zone plate objective. The construction of the microscope with some recent images of test and real samples will be presented and discussed.
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