• soft X-ray microspectroscopy;
  • STXM;
  • radiation damage;
  • radiation chemistry

Quantitative studies of soft X-ray induced radiation damage in zone-plate-based X-ray microspectroscopy have so far concentrated on investigations of homogeneous specimens. However, more complex materials can show unexpected radiation-induced behaviour. Here a quantitative radiochemical analysis of biological tissue from Xantophan morganii praedicta eyes is presented. Contrast enhancement due to tissue selective mass loss leading to a significant improvement of imaging quality is reported. Since conventional quantitative analysis of the absorbed dose cannot conclusively explain the experimental observations on photon-energy-dependent radiation damage, a significant contribution of photo- and secondary electrons to soft matter damage for photon energies above the investigated absorption edge is proposed.