24 December 2002 Highly Reflective Uranium Mirrors for Astrophysics Applications
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Abstract
The reported optical constants of uranium differ from that of vacuum significantly more than other elements do over the range of about 150 to 350 eV. This suggests that uranium could be used to produce high reflectance imaging mirrors for many soft x-ray applications. Elemental uranium is too chemically active to be used as a front surface mirror without protection. We computed the expected reflectance of carbon-coated uranium films and of uranium-nickel alloys for low-angle reflectors. Carbon is mostly transparent below its K absorption edge at about 283 eV. The reflectance at 10 degrees from grazing is computed to be greater than 50% at 277 eV (C Kα). For comparison, about 5 degrees is the maximum grazing incidence angle for which conventional materials are computed to have comparable reflectance. We sputter deposited and measured the reflectance of carbon-coated uranium layers at 44.7 Å (C Kα). Sample reflectance was a factor of two greater than that of nickel, the material used for low-angle mirrors. The initial oxidation behavior of sputtered uranium-nickel alloys is similar to pure U so their reflectance was not determined. Coatings based on uranium should be considered for all applications where high-reflectance, broadband, low-angle soft x-ray mirrors are required
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David D. Allred, Matthew B. Squires, R. Steven Turley, Webster C. Cash, Ann F. Shipley, "Highly Reflective Uranium Mirrors for Astrophysics Applications", Proc. SPIE 4782, X-Ray Mirrors, Crystals, and Multilayers II, (24 December 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.451359; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.451359
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KEYWORDS
Uranium

Reflectivity

Carbon

Mirrors

Nickel

Oxidation

X-rays

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