Additive manufacturing (AM; 3D printing) is a fabrication process that builds an object layer-upon-layer and promotes the use of structures that would not be possible via subtractive machining. Prototype AM metal mirrors are increasingly being studied in order to exploit the advantage of the broad AM design-space to develop intricate lightweight structures that are more optimised for function than traditional open-back mirror lightweighting.
This paper describes a UK Space Agency funded project to design and manufacture a series of lightweighted AM mirrors to fit within a 3U CubeSat chassis. Six AM mirrors of identical design will be presented: two in aluminium (AlSi10Mg), two in nickel phosphorous (NiP) coated AlSi10Mg, and two in titanium (Ti64). For each material mirror pair, one is hand-polished and the other is diamond turned. Metrology data, surface form error and surface roughness, will be presented to compare and contrast the different materials and post-processing methods. To assess the presence of porosity, a frequent concern for AM materials, X-ray computed tomography measurements will be presented to highlight the location and density of pores within the mirror substrates; methods to mitigate the distribution of pores near the optical surface will be described. As a metric for success the AlSi10Mg + NiP and AlSi10Mg mirrors should be suitable for visible and infrared applications respectively.
Design for additive manufacture (AM; 3D printing) is significantly different than design for subtractive machining. Although there are some limitations on the designs that can be printed, the increase in the AM design-space removes some of the existing challenges faced by the traditional lightweight mirror designs; for example, sandwich mirrors are just as easy to fabricate as open-back mirrors via AM, and they provide an improvement in structural rigidity. However, the ability to print a sandwich mirror as a single component does come with extra considerations; such as orientation upon the build plate and access to remove any temporary support material. This paper describes the iterations in optimisation applied to the lightweighting of a small, 84mm diameter by 20mm height, spherical concave mirror intended for CubeSat applications. The initial design, which was fabricated, is discussed in terms of the internal lightweighting design and the design constraints that were imposed by printing and post-processing. Iterations on the initial design are presented; these include the use of topology optimisation to minimise the total internal strain energy during mirror polishing and the use of lattices combined with thickness variation i.e. having a thicker lattice in strategic support locations. To assess the suitability of each design, finite element analysis is presented to quantify the print-through of the lightweighting upon the optical surface for a given mass reduction.
The Spectroscopy and Coherent Scattering (SCS) instrument of the European XFEL is a soft X-ray beamline aiming to unravel electronic, spin and structural properties of materials in ultrafast processes at the nanoscale. Various experimental techniques offered at SCS have different requirements in terms of beam size at the sample. Kirkpatrick-Baez (KB) refocusing optics equipped with mechanical benders allows for independent change of the horizontal and vertical beam size. We report here on the first characterization of the SCS KB mirrors by means of a novel diffraction-based technique which images the beam profile on a 2D pixelated detector. This approach provides a quick characterization of micrometer beam sizes. Results are compared with metrology measurements obtained with a non-contact slope profiler.
We present recent advancements in the Optical Metrology Laboratory (OML) at Diamond Light Source. Improvements in optical manufacturing technology, and demands from beamlines at synchrotron and free electron laser facilities, have made it a necessity to routinely characterize X-ray mirrors with slope errors < 100 nrad rms. The Diamond-NOM profiler can measure large, fully assembled optical systems in a sideways, upwards, or downwards facing geometry. Examples are provided of how it has recently characterized several challenging systems, including: actively bent mirrors; clamped monochromator gratings in a downward-facing geometry; and four, state-of-the-art, elliptically bent, long mirrors with slope errors < 100 nrad rms. The NOM’s components and data analysis procedures are continuously updated to stay ahead of the ever-increasing quality of X-ray optics and opto-mechanics. The OML’s newest instrument is a Zygo HDX 6” Fizeau interferometer. A dedicated support frame and motorized translation and rotation stages enable sub-aperture images to be stitched together using in-house controls and automation software. Cross-comparison of metrology data, including as part of the MooNpics collaboration, provides a valuable insight into the nature of optical defects and helps to push optical fabrication to a new level of quality.
There is growing interest at synchrotron light and X-ray free electron laser facilities to explore and improve the dynamic performance of piezoelectric bimorph deformable X-ray mirrors. Many beamlines, especially those dedicated to Macromolecular Crystallography, need to measure hundreds of samples per day. Shorter acquisition time requires rapid changes in the focus of the X-ray beam to condense the maximum photon density onto the sample. This is necessary to match the X-ray beam to the dimensions of the sample, or to probe variable sized regions of larger samples. Fine control of the X-ray beam becomes crucial for ensuring the highest quality of scientific data and increased throughput. Previous work at Diamond Light Source successfully changed the X-ray beam focus and stabilised it in under 10 seconds using piezoelectric bimorph deformable mirrors. Further updates to the controls software of the programmable HV-ADAPTOS high-voltage power supply (from CAEN / S.RI. Tech) now make it possible to control individual electrodes at 1 Hz using custom voltage profiles. This allows localized compensation of piezo creep, thus improving X-ray beam shape, significantly reducing stabilisation time, and eliminating curvature drift. For ex-situ validation, dynamic changes in the surface of the bimorph mirror need to monitored in real-time with sufficient spatial sensitivity. In this paper, we show that the active optical surface of a bimorph mirror (from Thales-SESO) can be accurately changed with sub-nanometre height sensitivity by dynamically monitoring the mirror’s surface using an array of high-speed (up to 200 kHz) Zygo ZPS™ absolute interferometric displacement sensors mounted in an independent metrology frame.
Additive manufacturing (AM), more commonly known as 3D printing, is a commercially established technology for rapid prototyping and fabrication of bespoke intricate parts. To date, research quality mirror prototypes are being trialled using additive manufacturing, where a high quality reflective surface is created in a post-processing step. One advantage of additive manufacturing for mirror fabrication is the ease to lightweight the structure: the design is no longer confined by traditional machining (mill, drill and lathe) and optimised/innovative structures can be used. The end applications of lightweight AM mirrors are broad; the motivation behind this research is low mass mirrors for space-based astronomical or Earth Observation imaging. An example of a potential application could be within nano-satellites, where volume and mass limits are critical. The research presented in this paper highlights the early stage experimental development in AM mirrors and the future innovative designs which could be applied using AM.
The surface roughness on a diamond-turned AM aluminium (AlSi10Mg) mirror is presented which demonstrates the ability to achieve an average roughness of ~3.6nm root mean square (RMS) measured over a 3 x 3 grid. A Fourier transform of the roughness data is shown which deconvolves the roughness into contributions from the diamond-turning tooling and the AM build layers. In addition, two nickel phosphorus (NiP) coated AlSi10Mg AM mirrors are compared in terms of surface form error; one mirror has a generic sandwich lightweight design at 44% the mass of a solid equivalent, prior to coating and the second mirror was lightweighted further using the finite element analysis tool topology optimisation. The surface form error indicates an improvement in peak-to-valley (PV) from 323nm to 204nm and in RMS from 83nm to 31nm for the generic and optimised lightweighting respectively while demonstrating a weight reduction between the samples of 18%. The paper concludes with a discussion of the breadth of AM design that could be applied to mirror lightweighting in the future, in particular, topology optimisation, tessellating polyhedrons and Voronoi cells are presented.
Deformable, piezo bimorph mirrors are often used to expand X-ray beams to a continuous range of sizes. However,
optical polishing errors present on all X-ray mirrors introduce striations into the reflected beam. To counteract them, reentrant
surface modifications with alternating concave and convex curvature have been proposed and applied to mirrors
of fixed shape or bimorph mirrors. For the latter, a new method of constructing re-entrant surface modifications on
segments of unequal length is described. This allows the re-entrant modification required for a desired beam size at the
focal point to be matched to the bimorph mirror’s polishing errors, thus reducing the voltage variations. Optical
profilometry using the Diamond-NOM showed that a 5-segment and a 7-segment modification could be suitably applied
to a deformable bimorph mirror. X-ray tests showed that striations caused by the 5-segment modification in the beam at
the focus are concentrated at the beam edges, while the beam center is left clear. This is in contrast to simple defocusing,
in which a strong side shoulder appears. The 7-segment modification produces a pattern of evenly spaced striations. The
intensity spikes seen with the re-entrant modifications are caused chiefly by the finite curvature of the mirror at the
turning points. The question of whether deformable bimorph mirrors with different piezo response functions could
sharpen the curvature changes will be investigated. Optimal modifications of continuous curvature, which could more
realistically be applied, will be sought.