An x-ray interferometer for analyzing high density plasmas and optically opaque materials includes a point-like x-ray source for providing a broadband x-ray source. The x-rays are directed through a target material and then are reflected by a high-quality ellipsoidally-bent imaging crystal to a diffraction grating disposed at 1.times. magnification. A spherically-bent imaging crystal is employed when the x-rays that are incident on the crystal surface are normal to that surface. The diffraction grating produces multiple beams which interfere with one another to produce an interference pattern which contains information about the target. A detector is disposed at the position of the image of the target produced by the interfering beams.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.