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A very compact in-line X-ray optical design is presented which is optimized for use with Bragg reflections close to backscattering (Bragg angles near 90°). The essential idea is to use a low-order Bragg reflection to couple the X-ray beam into a small channel-cut backscattering crystal. The design is demonstrated in an almost theoretically performing high-resolution monochromator providing 2 × 108 photons s-1 in a 0.52 meV bandwidth at 25.65 keV. The monochromator is used to measure inelastic nuclear scattering from phonons in 161Dy-containing samples.

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