The design and realization of a plane-grating monochromator mainly intended for high-energy resolution in the extreme-ultraviolet and soft-X-ray spectral regions is presented. The principal application is the spectral selection of high-order laser harmonics generated in gas combined with the possibility to achieve sub-20-meV bandwidth, approaching synchrotron-like beamlines resolution performances. This geometry has three optical elements: a uniform-line-spaced plane grating illuminated by the converging light coming from a focusing cylindrical mirror and an additional plane mirror that is needed to change the grating subtended angle to keep the system in focus on a fixed slit. The parameters of the focusing mirror are determined to introduce a coma that compensates for the coma given by the grating. A monochromator for the 12-50 eV region has been realized to show the feasibility and the performances of the configuration.
We discuss the design of double plane grating compressors to be used for chirped pulse amplification on free-electron laser (FEL) ultrashort pulses at energies higher than 100 eV. In particular, the design of a grating compressor for wavelength emission centered at 10 nm is demonstrated. The XUV efficiency measurements in the 8-12 nm range of the gratings to be used in a double plane grating compressor realized for an upcoming experiment planned at FERMI is presented and discussed. The overall instrument efficiency is furthermore analyzed.
We present the optical layout of soft X-rays compressors using reflective grating specifically designed to give both
positive or negative group-delay dispersion (GDD). They are tailored for chirped-pulse-amplification experiments with
FEL sources. The optical design originates from an existing compressor with plane gratings already realized and tested at
FERMI, that has been demonstrated capable to introduce tunable negative GDD. Here, we discuss two novel designs for
compressors using deformable gratings capable to give both negative and positive GDD. Two novel designs are
discussed: 1) a design with two deformable gratings and an intermediate focus between the twos, that is demonstrated
capable to introduce positive GDD; 2) a design with one deformable grating giving an intermediate focus, followed by a
concave mirror and a plane grating, that is capable to give both positive and negative GDD depending on the distance
between the second mirror and the second grating. Both the designs are tunable in wavelength and GDD, by acting on
the deformable gratings, that are rotated to tune the wavelength and the GDD and deformed to introduce the radius
required to keep the spectral focus. The deformable gratings have a laminar profile and are ruled on a thin silicon plane
substrate. A piezoelectric actuator is glued on the back of the substrate and is actuated to give a radius of curvature that is
varying from infinite (plane) to few meters. The ruling procedure, the piezoelectric actuator and the efficiency
measurements in the soft X-rays will be presented. Some test cases are discussed for wavelengths shorter than 12 nm.