Industrial Liaison Office

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Measurement of optical surfaces

Soft X ray Laboratory Soft X ray Laboratory

The quality of finish of high precision optical surfaces is a factor of fundamental importance to industrial sectors that require high levels of precision.
Verifying this quality requires the use of specialised instruments, such as interferometers and profilometers, that leave the examined specimen completely unaltered. Such instruments are used to analyse the surface properties of mirrors, prisms, lenses, diffraction grids, fibre optics, etc.


Elettra's contribution
At Elettra, innovative measuring techniques have been developed to guarantee the highest qualitative standards in the characterisation of various parameters:

  • roughness (measurable to a degree of precision of the order of a tenth of a nanometre);
  • optical surface topology (particularly the shape of its profile);
  • degree of reflectivity or transmission in the visible spectrum.

Members of the laboratory staff also operate and align complex optical systems, using specialised instruments such as autocollimators, theodolites and optical levellers.
These activities and tests are not performed solely for the purpose of verifying the quality of the optical components of the laboratory's beamlines and support instrumentation; they are also commissioned by external clients, who are issued with certificates of conformity.


Facility: Soft X-Ray Laboratory
High precision measurements of the groove density of diffraction gratings; D. Cocco, R. Sergo, G. Sostero, M. Zangrando; in: "Soft x ray and EUV imaging Systems", Proceedings of SPIE vol. 4146, 2000.