In 2019, the Institut für angewandte Photonik (IAP) e. V. in cooperation with Nano Optics Berlin (NOB) GmbH and SIOS Meßtechnik GmbH has made an important progress in the technology for precision soft X-ray optics – the development of three-dimensional (3-D) reflection zone plates (RZPs) with diffractive compensation of slope errors. 2-D mapping of spherical and toroidal grating substrates was used for the metrology of their individual profile. Based on these data, the inscribed grating structure, which corrects the slope error distribution, was computed. The correction algorithm has been implemented as a Python script, and first pilot samples of slope error compensated RZPs are in fabrication process. The 3-D device can replace two or three components in an optical scheme and, therefore, reduce absorption losses by several orders of magnitude. Beyond, the fabrication of customized 3-D Fresnel structures on curved substrates promises considerable improvements for efficiency, resolution and energy range in wavelength dispersive applications. As an example, we present simulations for a compact instrument within (150 – 250) eV. Further development of this approach toward commercial availability will enable the design and construction of compact soft Xray monochromators and spectrometers with unique parameters.
In most cases, neutron optical elements like polarisers or collimators use coated surfaces which define the neutron flight path in air or vacuum. To reduce the size of such elements silicon single crystals can be used as the medium in which the neutrons travel. We have built and tested a neutron polarising bender which consists of a stack of thin silicon wafers. The neutrons enter at the front side. Inside the wafers the spin up component is reflected from the supermirror coated side and can leave the wafers while the spin down component passes the supermirror and is absorbed in the Gd layer of the adjacent wafer. Other neutron optical element, we tested for the first time are several collimators made from silicon wafers coated with either Gd or reflecting coatings below an absorbing Gd layer. These collimators produce a beam with quasi-rectangular distribution of angles, which represents an intensity gain at equal resolution compared to the triangular distribution in conventional Soller collimators. Finally, we report on the first test of a solid state radial collimator. Some general aspects of sold state neutron optical elements are also discussed.