Dr. Ralf K. Heilmann
Assoc. Dir. (SNL) /Principal Research Scientist at MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Res
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Ralf is a Principal Research Scientist at the MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (MKI) and the Associate Director of the MIT/MKI Space Nanotechnology Laboratory.
He is the co-inventor of the critical-angle transmission grating technology, which is now ready for implementation in future astrophysics missions (Arcus, Lynx, REDSoX, etc.) with orders-of-magnitude improved performance over the Chandra and XMM-Newton grating instruments. Before MIT he performed phase separation studies on ultra-thin wetting films and investigated the structure of Langmuir monolayers as a postdoc at Harvard. He received his Ph.D. in physics from Carnegie Mellon University for his x-ray studies of the growth dynamics of quench-condensed noble gas films. Ralf has over two decades of experience in lab- and synchrotron-based x-ray scattering and diffraction. He has published over 120 papers in the fields of diffraction gratings, x-ray optics, spectrometer design, stress-based figure correction, optical metrology, x-ray scattering, thin-foil optics, interference lithography, nanofabrication, and mission design.
Publications (83)

Proceedings Article | 9 September 2019
Proc. SPIE. 11118, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI
KEYWORDS: Point spread functions, Sensors, Spectroscopy, X-rays, Spectral resolution, Charge-coupled devices, Space operations, Galactic astronomy, Absorption

Proceedings Article | 9 September 2019
Proc. SPIE. 11119, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy IX
KEYWORDS: Oxides, Mirrors, Optical lithography, Silicon, Coating, Distortion, Finite element methods, X-ray telescopes, Semiconducting wafers, Iridium

Proceedings Article | 9 September 2019
Proc. SPIE. 11118, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI
KEYWORDS: Reflectors, Mirrors, Rockets, Modulation, Polarization, Spectroscopy, X-rays, Polarimetry, Prototyping

Proceedings Article | 9 September 2019
Proc. SPIE. 11119, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy IX
KEYWORDS: Diffraction, Stars, Spectroscopy, X-rays, Spectral resolution, Computed tomography, Tolerancing, Galaxy groups and clusters, X-ray technology, Diffraction gratings

Proceedings Article | 9 September 2019
Proc. SPIE. 11118, UV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Space Instrumentation for Astronomy XXI
KEYWORDS: Mirrors, Optical design, Spectroscopy, X-rays, Spectral resolution, Computed tomography, Signal detection, Tolerancing, Spectrometer engineering, Diffraction gratings

Showing 5 of 83 publications
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