Industrial Liaison Office

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X-ray Mirrors

X-ray Mirrors X-ray Mirrors

The manufacture of high quality optical instruments demands that the finish and curvature geometry of surfaces be precisely defined, since their shape and smoothness need to match ideal values to within a few nanometres and a few tenths of a nanometre respectively. Only extremely refined working techniques, allied to mechanical and/or electrical systems of local curvature correction, can produce the required results.


Elettra's contribution
Elettra possesses skills in optics, IT and precision mechanics that have enabled it to combine two different correction methods to create mirrors of a higher quality than those produced in other research laboratories or available commercially. A prototype device has been built that is equipped with two mechanical actuators that adjust the mirror to the correct elliptical shape, and a with number of piezoelectric actuators that correct residual local discrepancies of form.

Encouraging results have prompted the researchers to consider creating a variable focus mirror with an exceptional curvature of up to some tens of metres and capable of restricting errors of form to a few nanometres over a complete work interval. In addition, the system is able to operate in ultra-high vacuum conditions and can be fitted with a cooling mechanism.


Facility: Hard X-Ray and Soft X-Ray Laboratories, Instrumentation and Detectors Laboratory.