We have developed a process for indirectly coating arbitrarily small diameter electroformed nickel replicated optics with multilayers to increase their response at high energy (i.e. >10 keV). The ability to fabricate small diameter multilayer coated full shell Wolter X-ray optics with narrow bandpass opens the door to several applications within astronomy and also provides a path for cross-fertilization to other fields. We report on the characterization and evaluation of the first two prototype X-ray Wolter optics to be delivered to the Z Pulsed Power Facility at Sandia National Laboratories. The intent is to develop and field several optics as part of an imaging system with targeted spectral ranges.
In order to advance significantly scientific objectives, future x-ray astronomy missions will likely call for x-ray telescopes
with large aperture areas (≈ 3 m2) and fine angular resolution (≈ 12). Achieving such performance is programmatically
and technologically challenging due to the mass and envelope constraints of space-borne telescopes and to the need for
densely nested grazing-incidence optics. Such an x-ray telescope will require precision fabrication, alignment, mounting,
and assembly of large areas (≈ 600 m2) of lightweight (≈ 2 kg/m2 areal density) high-quality mirrors, at an acceptable cost
(≈ 1 M$/m2 of mirror surface area). This paper reviews relevant programmatic and technological issues, as well as possible
approaches for addressing these issues-including direct fabrication of monocrystalline silicon mirrors, active (in-space
adjustable) figure correction of replicated mirrors, static post-fabrication correction using ion implantation, differential
erosion or deposition, and coating-stress manipulation of thin substrates.
Adjustable X-ray optics represent a potential enabling technology for simultaneously achieving large effective area and high angular resolution for future X-ray Astronomy missions. The adjustable optics employ a bimorph mirror composed of a thin (1.5 μm) film of piezoelectric material deposited on the back of a 0.4 mm thick conical mirror segment. The application of localized electric fields in the piezoelectric material, normal to the mirror surface, result in localized deformations in mirror shape. Thus, mirror fabrication and mounting induced figure errors can be corrected, without the need for a massive reaction structure. With this approach, though, film stresses in the piezoelectric layer, resulting from deposition, crystallization, and differences in coefficient of thermal expansion, can distort the mirror. The large relative thickness of the piezoelectric material compared to the glass means that even 100MPa stresses can result in significant distortions. We have examined compensating for the piezoelectric processing related distortions by the deposition of controlled stress chromium/iridium films on the front surface of the mirror. We describe our experiments with tuning the product of the chromium/iridium film stress and film thickness to balance that resulting from the piezoelectric layer. We also evaluated the repeatability of this deposition process, and the robustness of the iridium coating.
We examine a method for achieving zero intrinsic stress in thin films of iridium, chromium, and nickel deposited by magnetron sputter deposition. The examination of the stress in these materials is motivated by efforts to advance the optical performance of light-weight x-ray space telescopes into the regime of sub-arc second resolution. A characteristic feature of the intrinsic stress behavior in chromium and nickel is their sensitivity to the magnitude and sign of the intrinsic stress with argon gas pressure, including the existence of a critical pressure that results in zero film stress. This critical pressure scales linearly with the film’s density. While the effect of stress reversal with argon pressure has been previously reported by Hoffman and others for nickel and chromium, we have discovered a similar behavior for the intrinsic stress in iridium films. Additionally, we have identified zero stress in iridium shortly after island coalescence in the high adatom mobility growth regime. This feature of film growth is used for achieving a total internal stress of -2.89 MPa for a 15.8 nm thick iridium film with a surface roughness of 5.0 ± 0.5Å based on x-ray reflectivity (XRR) measurement at CuKα. The surface topography was also examined using atomic force microscopy (AFM). The examination of the stress in these films has been performed with a novel in-situ measurement device. The methodology and sensitivity of the in-situ instrument is also described herein.