A W:B4C multilayer phase retarder has been designed and characterized which shows a nearly constant phase retardance between 640 and 850 eV photon energies when operated near the Bragg condition. This freestanding transmission multilayer was used successfully to determine, for the first time, the full polarization vector at soft x-ray energies above 600 eV, which was not possible before due to the lack of suitable optical elements. Thus, quantitative polarimetry is now possible at the 2p edges of the magnetic substances Fe, Co, and Ni for the benefit of magnetic circular dichroism spectroscopy employing circularly polarized synchrotron radiation.
MacDonald, M. A., Schaefers, F., Pohl, R., Poole, I. B., Gaupp, A., & Quinn, F. M. (2008). A W:B4C multilayer phase retarder for broadband polarization analysis of soft x-ray radiation. Review of scientific instruments, 79(2), 025108. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2841803