A linear and a circular zone plate with a blazed zone profile (ZPBP) have been fabricated and characterized using synchrotron x rays. The ZPBPs have significantly improved performances in terms of focusing efficiency and the background near the focus compared to those of a zone plate with a square profile, of which the transmission function can be characterized by a binary square wave. In many respects and practical cases, an x-ray ZPBP may be used in a way analogous to an optical lens in the visible light region. In this article, the experimental characterization of the ZPBPs is presented and some special applications are discussed.
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