We describe the fabrication and testing of a novel type of tunable transmission hard x-ray optics. The diffractive elements are generated by electron beam lithography and chemical wet etching of <110> oriented silicon substrates. Structures with widths down to 100 nm and extreme aspect ratios were obtained using this method. By tilting the lenses with respect to the x-ray beam, the effective path through the phase shifting structures can be varied. This makes it possible to optimize the diffraction efficiency for a wide range of photon energies, and to obtain effective aspect ratios not accessible with untilted optics. The diffraction efficiency of a Fresnel lens was measured for various energies between 8 keV and 29 keV. Values close to the theoretical limit (approx. 35%) were obtained. The described technique provides focusing in one direction only. For two-dimensional focusing, two linear lenses with different focal lengths and orthogonal orientations can be placed along the optical axis. Depending on the coherence properties of the source, such an arrangement can improve the resolution and flux compared to a single circular zone plate. The wet etching technique is also applied to the fabrication of linear gratings with pseudo-random pitch, which will be used as one-dimensional decoherers to adapt the coherence of a synchrotron beam in a defined way. Linear gratings with uniform line density can be used as beam splitters for applications such as holography or interferometry.© (2001) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.