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Proceedings Paper

Silicon pore optics: novel lightweight high-resolution x-ray optics developed for XEUS
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Paper Abstract

The next generation astronomical X-ray telescopes (e.g. XEUS) require extremely large collecting area (10 m2) in combination with good angular resolution (5 arcsec). The existing technologies such as polished glass, nickel electroforming and foil optics would lead to excessively heavy and expensive optics, and/or are not able to produce the required large area or resolution. We have developed an entirely novel technology for producing X-ray optics which results in very light, stiff and modular optics which can be assembled into almost arbitrarily large apertures, and which are perfectly suited for XEUS. The technology makes use of commercially available silicon wafers from the semiconductor industry. The latest generation silicon wafers have a surface roughness that is sufficiently low for X-ray reflection, are planparallel to better than a micrometer, have almost perfect mechanical properties and are considerably cheaper than other high-quality optical materials. The wafers are bent into an accurate cone and assembled to form a light and stiff pore structure with pores of the order of a millimeter. The resulting modules form a small segment of a Wolter-I optic, and are easily assembled into an optic with large collecting area. We present the production principle of these silicon pore optics, the facilities that have been set up to produce these modules and experimental results showing the excellent performance of the first modules that have been produced. With further improvement we expect to be able to match the XEUS requirements for imaging resolution and mass.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 October 2004
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 5488, UV and Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Systems, (11 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.585122
Show Author Affiliations
Marco Beijersbergen, Cosine Research BV (Netherlands)
Stefan Kraft, Cosine Research BV (Netherlands)
Ramses Gunther, Cosine Research BV (Netherlands)
Arjan L. Mieremet, Cosine Research BV (Netherlands)
Maximilien Collon, Cosine Research BV (Netherlands)
Marcos Bavdaz, European Space Agency/ESTEC (Netherlands)
David H. Lumb, European Space Agency/ESTEC (Netherlands)
Anthony J. Peacock, European Space Agency/ESTEC (Netherlands)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5488:
UV and Gamma-Ray Space Telescope Systems
Guenther Hasinger; Martin J. L. Turner, Editor(s)

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