29 August 2017 Development of iridium coated x-ray mirrors for astronomical applications
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Abstract
Future space-based X-ray observatories need to be very lightweight for launcher mass constraints. Therefore they will use a reduced mirror thickness, which results in the additional requirement of low coating stress to avoid deformation of the initial precisely shaped mirror substrates. Due to their excellent reflection properties iridium coatings are sometimes applied for grazing incidence mirrors in astronomical X-ray telescopes. At Aschaffenburg University of Applied Sciences the coating of thin iridium films by an RF-magnetron sputtering technique is under development. The work is embedded in collaborations with the Max-Planck-Institute for Extraterrestrial Physics in Germany, the Czech Technical University in Prague, the Osservatorio Astronomico di Brera in Italy, the German Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research in Dresden, and the French Institute Fresnel. Sputtering with different parameters leads to iridium films with different properties. The current work is focused on the microstructure of the iridium coatings to study the influence of the substrate and of the argon gas pressure on the thin film growing process. Correlations between coating density, surface micro-roughness, the crystalline structure of the iridium layers, and the expected reflectivity of the X-ray mirror as well as coating stress effects are presented and discussed. The final goal of the project is to integrate the produced prototype mirrors into an X-ray telescope module. On a longer timescale measurements of the mirror modules optical performance are planned at the X-ray test facility PANTER.
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Thorsten Döhring, Thorsten Döhring, Anne-Catherine Probst, Anne-Catherine Probst, Florian Emmerich, Florian Emmerich, Manfred Stollenwerk, Manfred Stollenwerk, Veronika Stehlíková, Veronika Stehlíková, Peter Friedrich, Peter Friedrich, Christine Damm, Christine Damm, } "Development of iridium coated x-ray mirrors for astronomical applications", Proc. SPIE 10399, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VIII, 103991C (29 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2273988; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2273988
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