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9 September 2019 Fabrication of monocrystalline silicon x-ray mirrors
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Abstract
Progress within the field of x-ray astronomy depends on astronomical x-ray observations of ever-increasing quality and speed. Fast and high-resolution x-ray observations over a broad spectral range promise amazing new discoveries. These observations, however, require a spaceborne x-ray telescope of unprecedented imaging power. Of the numerous technological concerns associated with the design and construction of such a telescope, the x-ray focusing optics present a particularly complex and arduous set of challenges. An x-ray optical assembly comprises many thousands of x-ray mirrors, a most critical element. Our group at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) pursues the development of an x-ray mirror manufacturing process capable of meeting the stringent quality, production time, and cost requirements of the next-generation of x-ray telescopes. The manufacturing process employs monocrystalline silicon: a lightweight, stiff, thermally conductive, and readily available material which is free of internal stress; it is a nearly ideal material for a thin mirror substrate. The process involves various traditional optical fabrication techniques adapted to x-ray mirror geometry. Presently, our process is capable of fabricating sub-arcsecond half-powerdiameter (HPD) resolution mirror pairs (primary and secondary) at a mirror thickness of 0.5 mm and of virtually any x-ray optical design (e.g. Wolter-I, Wolter-Schwarzschild, etc.). The mirror substrate surface quality is comparable to, and sometimes exceeding, that of the mirrors on the Chandra X-ray Observatory. This paper describes the various manufacturing steps involved in the production of x-ray mirror substrates and a present status report.
© (2019) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Raul E. Riveros, Michael P. Biskach, Kim D. Allgood, John D. Kearney, Michal Hlinka, Ai Numata, and William W. Zhang "Fabrication of monocrystalline silicon x-ray mirrors", Proc. SPIE 11119, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy IX, 1111908 (9 September 2019); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2530343
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