The development of fully coherent free electron lasers and diffraction limited storage ring x-ray sources has brought to focus the need for higher performing x-ray optics with unprecedented tolerances for surface slope and height errors and roughness. For example, the proposed beamlines for the future upgraded Advance Light Source, ALS-U, require optical elements characterized by a residual slope error of <100 nrad (root-mean-square) and height error of <1-2 nm (peak-tovalley). These are for optics with a length of up to one meter. However, the current performance of x-ray optical fabrication and metrology generally falls short of these requirements. The major limitation comes from the lack of reliable and efficient surface metrology with required accuracy and with reasonably high measurement rate, suitable for integration into the modern deterministic surface figuring processes. The major problems of current surface metrology relate to the inherent instrumental temporal drifts, systematic errors, and/or an unacceptably high cost, as in the case of interferometry with computer-generated holograms as a reference. In this paper, we discuss the experimental methods and approaches based on correlation analysis to the acquisition and processing of metrology data developed at the ALS X-Ray Optical Laboratory (XROL). Using an example of surface topography measurements of a state-of-the-art x-ray mirror performed at the XROL, we demonstrate the efficiency of combining the developed experimental correlation methods to the advanced optimal scanning strategy (AOSS) technique. This allows a significant improvement in the accuracy and capacity of the measurements via suppression of the instrumental low frequency noise, temporal drift, and systematic error in a single measurement run. Practically speaking, implementation of the AOSS technique leads to an increase of the measurement accuracy, as well as the capacity of ex situ metrology by a factor of about four. The developed method is general and applicable to a broad spectrum of high accuracy measurements.
The R&D work on the ALS upgrade to a diffraction limited electron ring, ALS-U, has brought to focus the need for near-perfect x-ray optics, capable of delivering light to experiments without significant degradation of brightness and coherence. The desired quality of the optics is illustrated by the residual surface slope and height errors of <50−100 nrad (rms) and <1−2 nm (rms), respectively. This catalyzes the development at the ALS new ultra-high accuracy metrology methods. Fundamental to the optimization of beamline performance of such x-ray optics, metrology must be capable of characterizing the optics with accuracy even better than the specification. The major limiting factors of the current absolute accuracy are systematic errors inherent to the metrology instruments. Here, we discuss details of work at the Advanced Light Source (ALS) X-Ray Optics Laboratory (XROL) on the development of advanced experimental methods and techniques to suppress, measure, and eliminate the instrumental systematic errors. With examples, we show how the implementation of these methods allows us to significantly improve the capabilities and performance of the existing lab equipment used for characterization and optimal tuning of high quality x-ray optics. We will also review the ALS XROL plans for instrumentation upgrades and development of sophisticated methods for metrology data processing and usage. The discussion will be illustrated with the results of a broad spectrum of measurements of x-ray optics and optical systems performed at the lab. Supported by the U.S. Department of Energy under contract number DE- AC02-05CH11231.
The development of deterministic polishing techniques has given rise to vendors that manufacture high quality threedimensional x-ray optics. The surface metrology on these optics remains a difficult task. For the fabrication, vendors usually use unique surface metrology tools, generally developed on site, that are not available in the optical metrology labs at x-ray facilities. At the Advanced Light Source X-Ray Optics Laboratory, we have developed a rather straightforward interferometric-microscopy-based procedure capable of sub microradian characterization of sagittal slope variation of x-ray optics for two-dimensionally focusing and collimating (such as ellipsoids, paraboloids, etc.). In the paper, we provide the mathematical foundation of the procedure and describe the related instrument calibration. We also present analytical expression describing the ideal surface shape in the sagittal direction of a spheroid specified by the conjugate parameters of the optic’s beamline application. The expression is useful when analyzing data obtained with such optics. The high efficiency of the developed measurement and data analysis procedures is demonstrated in results of measurements with a number of x-ray optics with sagittal radius of curvature between 56 mm and 480 mm. We also discuss potential areas of further improvement.
The research and development work on the Advanced Light Source (ALS) upgrade to a diffraction limited storage ring light source, ALS-U, has brought to focus the need for near-perfect x-ray optics, capable of delivering light to experiments without significant degradation of brightness and coherence. The desired surface quality is characterized with residual (after subtraction of an ideal shape) surface slope and height errors of <50-100 nrad (rms) and <1-2 nm (rms), respectively. The ex-situ metrology that supports the optimal usage of the optics at the beamlines has to offer even higher measurement accuracy. At the ALS X-Ray Optics Laboratory, we are developing a new surface slope profiler, the Optical Surface Measuring System (OSMS), capable of two-dimensional (2D) surface-slope metrology at an absolute accuracy below the above optical specification. In this article we provide the results of comprehensive characterization of the key elements of the OSMS, a NOM-like high-precision granite gantry system with air-bearing translation and a custom-made precision air-bearing stage for tilting and flipping the surface under test. We show that the high performance of the gantry system allows implementing an original scanning mode for 2D mapping. We demonstrate the efficiency of the developed 2D mapping via comparison with 1D slope measurements performed with the same hyperbolic test mirror using the ALS developmental long trace profiler. The details of the OSMS design and the developed measuring techniques are also provided.
The advents of fully coherent free electron lasers and diffraction limited synchrotron storage ring sources of x-rays are catalyzing the development of new, ultra-high accuracy metrology methods. To fully exploit the potential of these sources, metrology needs to be capable of determining the figure of an optical element with sub-nanometer height accuracy. Currently, the two most prevalent slope measuring instruments used for characterization of x-ray optics are the auto-collimator based nanometer optical measuring device (NOM) and the long trace profiler (LTP) using pencil beam interferometry (PBI). These devices have been consistently improved upon by the x-ray optics metrology community, but appear to be approaching their metrological limits. Here, we revise the traditional optical schematic of the LTP. We experimentally show that, for the level of accuracy desired for metrology with state-of-the-art x-ray optics, the Dove prism in the LTP reference channel appears to be one of the major sources of instrumental error. Therefore, we suggest returning back to the original PBI LTP schematics with no Dove prism in the reference channel. In this case, the optimal scanning strategies [Yashchuk, Rev. Sci. Instrum. 80, 115101 (2009)] used to suppress the instrumental drift error have to be used to suppress a possible drift error associated with laser beam pointing instability. We experimentally and by numerical simulation demonstrate the usefulness of the suggested approach for measurements with x-ray optics with both face up and face down orientations.
The semiconductor industry is moving toward a half-pitch of 7 nm. The required metrology equipment should be one order of magnitude more accurate than that. Any metrology tool is only as good as it is calibrated. The characterization of metrology systems requires test patterns that are one order of magnitude smaller than the measured features. The test sample was designed in such a way that the distribution of linewidths appears to be random at any location and any magnification. The power spectral density of such pseudo-random test pattern is inherently flat, down to the minimum size of lines. Metrology systems add a cut-off of the spectra at high frequencies; the shape of the cut-off characterizes the system in its entire dynamic range. This method is widely used in optics, and has allowed optical systems to be perfected down to their diffraction limit. There were attempts to use the spectral method to characterize nanometrology systems such as SEMs, but the absence of natural samples with known spatial frequencies was a common problem. Pseudo-random test patterns with linewidths down to 1.5 nm were fabricated. The system characterization includes the imaging of a pseudo-random test sample and image analysis by a developed software to automatically extract the power spectral density and the contrast transfer function of the nanoimaging system.