Water window

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Not to be confused with Water hole (radio) or Water gate.

The water window consists of the soft x-rays between the K-absorption edge of oxygen at a wavelength of 2.34 nm and the K-absorption edge of carbon at 4.4 nm (x-ray energies of 530 and 280 eV, respectively). Water is transparent to these x-rays while nitrogen and other elements found in biological specimens are absorbing. These wavelengths could be used in an x-ray microscope for viewing living specimens.[1][2]


  1. ^ De Stasio, G.; Gilbert, B.; Nelson, T.; Hansen, R.; Wallace, J.; Mercanti, D.; Capozi, M.; Baudat, P. A.; Perfetti, P.; Margaritondo, G.; Tonner, B. P. (2000). "Feasibility tests of transmission x-ray photoelectron emission microscopy of wet samples". Review of Scientific Instruments. 71: 11. Bibcode:2000RScI...71...11D. doi:10.1063/1.1150151. 
  2. ^ Spielmann, C.; Burnett, N. H.; Sartania, S.; Koppitsch, R.; Schnürer, M.; Kan, C.; Lenzner, M.; Wobrauschek, P.; Krausz, F. (1997). "Generation of Coherent X-rays in the Water Window Using 5-Femtosecond Laser Pulses". Science. 278 (5338): 661–664. Bibcode:1997Sci...278..661S. doi:10.1126/science.278.5338.661. 
  • Sebastian Wachsmann-Hogiu; Alexander J Annala; Daniel L Farkas (2004). Colin E. Webb and Julian D. C. Jones, ed. Handbook of Laser Technology and Applications: Applications. IOP Publishing. p. 2138. ISBN 978-0-7503-0966-0.