A monochromatic X-ray backlighter based on Bragg reflection from a spherically bent quartz crystal has been developed for the MAGPIE pulsed power generator at Imperial College (1.4 MA, 240 ns) [I. H. Mitchell et al, Rev. Sci. Instrum.67, 1533 (2005)]. This instrument has been used to diagnose high energy density physics experiments with 1.865 keV radiation (Silicon He-α) from a laser plasma source driven by a ∼7 J, 1 ns pulse from the Cerberus laser. The design of the diagnostic, its characterisation and performance, and initial results in which the instrument was used to radiograph a shock physics experiment on MAGPIE are discussed.

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