A Multi-Cone X-Ray Imaging Bragg Crystal Spectrometer

Web Published:

A multi-cone x-ray imaging Bragg crystal spectrometer

Princeton Docket # 16-3250-1


Researchers at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Princeton University have designed a new multi-cone x-ray imaging Bragg crystal spectrometer for the spectroscopy of small (point-like) x-ray sources, which in contrast to Hall’s, currently used standard single-cone x-ray crystal spectrometer, can provide high spectral resolutions of E/ΔE=10,000 for each wavelength in a selectable spectral range.

Another important advantage of this new multi-cone x-ray imaging Bragg crystal spectrometer is that it can easily be adapted to the conditions at high-power laser facilities, such as NIF, where the possible arrangements of crystal and detector are determined by experimental constraints. In other words, the multi-cone crystals can be placed at any position between source and detector and can be optimized for an arbitrary orientation of the detector plane. This new spectrometer is, therefore, especially well suited for time-resolved measurements of x-ray line spectra from high energy density plasmas with the use of streak cameras or gated strip detectors. In addition, with some modifications, this spectrometer can also be used for the spectroscopy of stars and remote x-ray sources. Overall, the invention provides perfect, spectrally resolved, images of point-like x-ray source for a selectable wavelength range on an arbitrarily oriented detector plane.



•       X-ray spectroscopy of laser-produced high energy density plasmas

•       X-ray spectroscopy of stars and other remote x-ray sources


•       Well-defined spectral resolution

•       Adaptable

•       Provides perfect images of point-like x-ray source

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL)  

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) is a collaborative national center for fusion energy research. The Laboratory advances the coupled fields of fusion energy and plasma physics research, and, with collaborators, is developing the scientific understanding and key innovations needed to realize fusion as an energy source for the world. An associated mission is providing the highest quality of scientific education.



Manfred Bitter is a Principal Research Physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) of Princeton University. He joined PPPL in 1977 after previous appointments at the European Space Organization in Frascati, Italy from 1969 to 1973 and the Centre des Recherches en Physique des Plasmas in Lausanne, Switzerland from 1973 to 1977. He was educated in Germany, where he received a diploma in physics (‘Diplom-Physiker’) from the Ludwig Maximilian Universität in Munich and a doctorate in physics (‘Dr. rer. nat.’) from the Technische Hochschule in Aachen. His fields of expertise are the physics of highly charged ions and x-ray spectroscopy of hot tokamak plasmas with a particular focus on Doppler measurements of the plasma ion temperatures and plasma flow velocities. For the purpose of these measurements, he invented a (1D) x-ray imaging crystal spectrometer, which provides radial profiles of these important plasma parameters with high spectral and high spatial resolutions. This type of spectrometer is now being used on tokamaks and stellarators worldwide and its design concept has also been adopted for measurements of the profiles of plasma ion-temperatures and plasma flow-velocity profiles in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). More recently, he and his colleagues at PPPL, Dr. Kenneth W. Hill and Dr. Phillip C. Efthimion, developed high-resolution spectrometers and 2D imaging systems for the diagnostics of laser-produced plasmas and applications in EUV lithography. Manfred Bitter is a fellow of the American Physical Society since 1985. He received the Alexander von Humboldt Award in 1996 and the Kaul Prize for Excellence in Plasma Physics in 2012.


Intellectual Property & Development status

Patent protection is pending.

Princeton is currently seeking commercial partners for the further development and commercialization of this opportunity.



Michael R. Tyerech

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing • (609) 258-6762• tyerech@princeton.edu

Sangeeta Bafna

Princeton University Office of Technology Licensing • (609) 258-5579• sbafna@princeton.edu


Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Michael Tyerech
former Princeton Sr. Licensing Associate
Princeton University
Manfred Bitter
Kenneth Hill
Philip Efthimion
Luis Delgado-Aparicio
Novimir Pablant
Lan Gao