Synchrotron beamlines typically use macroscopic, quasi-static optics to manipulate x-ray beams. We present the use of dynamic microelectromechanical systems-based optics (MEMS) to temporally modulate synchrotron x-ray beams. We demonstrate this concept using single-crystal torsional MEMS micromirrors oscillating at frequencies of 75 kHz. Such a MEMS micromirror, with lateral dimensions of a few hundred micrometers, can interact with x rays by operating in grazing-incidence reflection geometry; x rays are deflected only when an x-ray pulse is incident on the rotating micromirror under appropriate conditions, i.e., at an angle less than the critical angle for reflectivity. The time window for such deflections depends on the frequency and amplitude of the MEMS rotation. We demonstrate that reflection geometry can produce a time window of a few microseconds. We further demonstrate that MEMS optics can isolate x rays from a selected synchrotron bunch or group of bunches. With ray-trace simulations we explain the currently achievable time windows and suggest a path toward improvements.
Time-resolved synchrotron x-ray measurements often rely on using a mechanical chopper to isolate a set of x-ray pulses. We have started the development of micro electromechanical systems (MEMS)-based x-ray optics, as an alternate method to manipulate x-ray beams. In the application of x-ray pulse isolation, we recently achieved a pulse-picking time window of half a nanosecond, which is more than 100 times faster than mechanical choppers can achieve. The MEMS device consists of a comb-drive silicon micromirror, designed for efficiently diffracting an x-ray beam during oscillation. The MEMS devices were operated in Bragg geometry and their oscillation was synchronized to x-ray pulses, with a frequency matching subharmonics of the cycling frequency of x-ray pulses. The microscale structure of the silicon mirror in terms of the curvature and the quality of crystallinity ensures a narrow angular spread of the Bragg reflection. With the discussion of factors determining the diffractive time window, this report showed our approaches to narrow down the time window to half a nanosecond. The short diffractive time window will allow us to select single x-ray pulse out of a train of pulses from synchrotron radiation facilities.