We present ongoing efforts on the development of precision Wolter mirrors for the Soft X-ray Imaging Spectrometer (SXIS) aboard PhoENiX mission proposed to JAXA for studying mechanism(s) of particle acceleration and its relationship with magnetic reconnection in solar flares. The Wolter mirrors for PhoENiX/SXIS are made by direct polishing of glass-ceramic substrates. So far, we succeeded in fabricating a small size of high precision Wolter surfaces (e.g., PSF core size of ~0.2 arcsec HPD at 8 keV) as well as good indication of extending the mirror area along the cylindrical direction. Recent status of the mirror development will be reported.
Focusing x-ray free-electron lasers (XFEL) allows us to study nonlinear optics within the xray region. Recently, we challenged the focusing XFELs to below 10 nm. However, the conventional multilayer Kirkpatrick-Baez(KB) mirrors require too strict alignment accuracy of the incident angle. To solve this problem, we propose advanced KB (AKB) mirrors, based on Wolter type III geometry. Because the configuration satisfies the Abbe sine condition, AKB mirrors enables a tolerance of incident angle error 1000 times greater than conventional KB mirrors. The remaining problem is how such mirrors are to be fabricated, because required shape accuracy is below 1 nm and the small radius of curvature on the mirrors makes high accuracy shape measurement difficult. In this work, we performed a mirror fabrication procedure based on a combination of a grating interferometer and a differential deposition. Experiment at BL29XUL of SPring-8 demonstrated AKB mirrors with an accuracy of λ/4 fabricated.
Focusing X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs) is very important for producing ultra-intense X-ray nanoprobes. We have developed a system based on multilayer Kirkpatrick–Baez (KB) mirrors to focus XFELs to 10 nm or less at the SPring-8 Angstrom Compact free-electron LAser (SACLA) facility. The mirror optics in the system are designed with a large NA of greater than 0.01 to produce a diffraction-limited size of 6 nm at 9 keV. We constructed a precise X-ray grating interferometer based on the Talbot effect, and succeeded in fabricating near-perfect focusing mirrors with wavefront aberrations of λ/4.
However, strict error tolerances for mirror alignment can prevent sub-10 nm focusing. Errors of perpendicularity, incident angle, and astigmatism cause aberration on the focusing wavefront and characteristically change the beam shape. In particular, the required accuracy of the incident angle is 500 nrad. Due to shot-by-shot variations in the XFEL beam position and vibration of the optics, a single-shot diagnosis of beam shape is essential to align the mirrors quickly and accurately. By improving the method proposed by Sikorski et al. at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), National Accelerator Laboratory, we propose a nanobeam diagnosis method based on the speckle pattern observed under coherent scattering. Computer simulation revealed that speckle size and beam size are inversely proportional. Platinum particles with a diameter of 2 nm were prepared and irradiated with X-rays to obtain a speckle pattern. Our experimental results demonstrate the successful estimation of beam shape and the alignment of all mirrors with the required accuracies.
Tight XFEL focusing is very important for significantly enhancing photon flux density, which is highly demanded by users exploring nonlinear X-ray optics. However, focusing XFEL down to 10 nm or less is so difficult from the viewpoints of both optical fabrication and optical alignment. The former can be overcome using techniques of wavefront sensing and fine shape correction. For the latter, techniques for directly measuring beam size on the focus without an influence of vibration of nanobeam are required. We have developed a technique for determining the size of nanobeam on the focus using an intensity interferometer, based on the Hanbury Brown and Twiss effect, of X-ray fluorescence emitted from a thin film inserted into the focus. The spatial coherence of X-ray fluorescence observed far from the focus depends on the distance from the focus and emission region of X-ray fluorescence. Therefore, the measured coherence can determine the size of X-ray nanobeam. This method has advantages that vibration of nanobeam does not affect the result and the setup is so simple.
A demonstration experiment was performed using a 100 nm focusing system based on total reflection KB mirrors at SACLA. X-ray fluorescence (8 keV) emitted from a thin Cu film by irradiation of focused XFEL pulses (12 keV) was detected shot-by-shot with a dual MPCCD. Analyses of approximately 1000 images based on the autocorrelation revealed that the beam size obtained with this method is in good agreement with one obtained with the wire scan method.
High angular-resolution imagery (~1” or better) together with good off-axis scattering performance (<1/1000 of the PSF peak at 10” off-axis position) are essential ingredients for revealing energetic plasma processes ongoing in the solar corona during flares. However, imagery of the corona has never been performed with such performance due to severe technical difficulty in fabricating precision Wolter mirrors with a wide field of view exceeding several 100”.
We are attempting to realize Wolter mirrors with the above-mentioned performance for future X-ray observations of the Sun. The attempt includes fabrication of engineering mirrors of segmented type to which state-of-the-art precision polish and measurements are applied, followed by X-ray evaluation of focusing performance using BL29XUL parallel X-ray beam line at SPring-8 synchrotron facility. Results of the evaluation are then fed-back to polish/measurements for the subsequent mirrors.
Thus far we have successfully fabricated an engineering mirror whose Wolter surfaces 32.5mm x 10mm each for the parabola and hyperbola segments. The mirror focused 8 keV X-rays with the PSF core size ~0.2” HPD (~0.1” FWHM) and with ~3 x 10^(-4) scattering level at 10” off-axis position. Effort has currently been made to increase the area size of the Wolter surfaces towards application to space-borne optics for solar X-ray observations.
Status of the current development on the precision Wolter mirrors will be reported together with some future prospects.