• soft X-ray beamline;
  • soft X-ray optics;
  • grating monochromator;
  • active grating;
  • resonant inelastic X-ray scattering;
  • soft X-ray spectra

The design, construction and commissioning of a beamline and spectrometer for inelastic soft X-ray scattering at high resolution in a highly efficient system are presented. Based on the energy-compensation principle of grating dispersion, the design of the monochromator–spectrometer system greatly enhances the efficiency of measurement of inelastic soft X-rays scattering. Comprising two bendable gratings, the set-up effectively diminishes the defocus and coma aberrations. At commissioning, this system showed results of spin-flip, dd and charge-transfer excitations of NiO. These results are consistent with published results but exhibit improved spectral resolution and increased efficiency of measurement. The best energy resolution of the set-up in terms of full width at half-maximum is 108 meV at an incident photon energy tuned about the Ni L3-edge.