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A systematic study is presented in which multilayers of different composition (W/Si, Mo/Si, Pd/B4C), periodicity (from 2.5 to 5.5 nm) and number of layers have been characterized. In particular, the intrinsic quality (roughness and reflectivity) as well as the performance (homogeneity and coherence of the outgoing beam) as a monochromator for synchrotron radiation hard X-ray micro-imaging are investigated. The results indicate that the material composition is the dominating factor for the performance. By helping scientists and engineers specify the design parameters of multilayer monochromators, these results can contribute to a better exploitation of the advantages of multilayer monochromators over crystal-based devices; i.e. larger spectral bandwidth and high photon flux density, which are particularly useful for synchrotron-based micro-radiography and -tomography.

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