18 July 2016 A concept for a soft gamma-ray concentrator using thin-film multilayer structures
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We are investigating the use of thin-film, multilayer structures to form optics capable of concentrating soft gamma rays with energies greater than 100 keV, beyond the reach of current grazing-incidence hard X-ray mirrors. Alternating layers of low- and high-density materials (e.g., polymers and metals) will channel soft gamma-ray photons via total external reflection. A suitable arrangement of bent structures will then concentrate the incident radiation to a point. Gamma-ray optics made in this way offer the potential for soft gamma-ray telescopes with focal lengths of less than 10 m, removing the need for formation flying spacecraft and opening the field up to balloon-borne instruments. Following initial investigations conducted at Los Alamos National Laboratory, we have constructed and tested a prototype structure using spin coating combined with magnetron sputtering. We are now investigating whether it is possible to grow such flexible multi-layer structures with the required thicknesses and smoothness more quickly by using magnetron sputter and pulsed laser deposition techniques. We present the latest results of our fabrication and gamma-ray channeling tests, and describe our modeling of the sensitivity of potential concentrator-based telescope designs. If successful, this technology offers the potential for transformational increases in sensitivity while dramatically improving the system-level performance of future high-energy astronomy missions through reduced mass and complexity.
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Peter F. Bloser, Peter F. Bloser, Farzane Shirazi, Farzane Shirazi, Olof Echt, Olof Echt, James E. Krzanowski, James E. Krzanowski, Jason S. Legere, Jason S. Legere, Mark L. McConnell, Mark L. McConnell, John G. Tsavalas, John G. Tsavalas, Emily N. Wong, Emily N. Wong, Paul H. Aliotta, Paul H. Aliotta, "A concept for a soft gamma-ray concentrator using thin-film multilayer structures", Proc. SPIE 9905, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2016: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 99056L (18 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2233386; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2233386


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