As part of the TESLA (TeV-Energy Superconducting Linear Accelerator) project a free electron laser (FEL) in the XUV (Extreme Ultra-Violet, (6-200 eV)) and X-ray (0.5-15 keV) range is being developed at DESY (Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron, Hamburg). At the TESLA Test Facility (TTF) a prototype FEL has recently demonstrated maximum light amplification in the range of 80 nm to 120 nm. It is expected that the FEL will provide intense, sub-picosecond radiation pulses with photon energies up to 200 eV in the next development stage. In a joint project between DESY and GKSS, thin film optical elements with very high radiation stability, as required for FEL applications, are currently being developed.
Sputter-deposited amorphous carbon coatings have been prepared for use as total reflection X-ray mirrors. The optical characterization of the mirrors has been carried out using the soft X-ray reflectometer at HASYLAB (Hamburger Synchrotronstrahlungslabor) beamline G1. The reflectivity of the carbon films at 2 deg incidence angle is close to the theoretical reflectivity of 95.6 %, demonstrating the high quality of the coatings. For comparison, layers produced by different methods (e.g. Chemical vapor deposition, Pulsed laser deposition) have been characterized as well.
Annealing experiments have been performed to evaluate the thermal stability of the amorphous carbon films. Further investigations concerning the radiation stability of the X-ray mirrors have also been conducted. The mirrors were irradiated in the FELIS (Free Electron Laser-Interaction with Solids) experiment at the TTF-FEL. Microscopic investigations demonstrate that the carbon mirrors are fairly stable.