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Proceedings Paper

Fabrication update on critical-angle transmission gratings for soft x-ray grating spectrometers
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Paper Abstract

Diffraction grating-based, wavelength dispersive high-resolution soft x-ray spectroscopy of celestial sources promises to reveal crucial data for the study of the Warm-Hot Intergalactic Medium, the Interstellar Medium, warm absorption and outflows in Active Galactic Nuclei, coronal emission from stars, and other areas of interest to the astrophysics community. Our recently developed critical-angle transmission (CAT) gratings combine the advantages of the Chandra high and medium energy transmission gratings (low mass, high tolerance of misalignments and figure errors, polarization insensitivity) with those of blazed reflection gratings (high broad band diffraction efficiency, high resolution through use of higher diffraction orders) such as the ones on XMM-Newton. Extensive instrument and system configuration studies have shown that a CAT grating-based spectrometer is an outstanding instrument capable of delivering resolving power on the order of 5,000 and high effective area, even with a telescope point-spread function on the order of many arc-seconds. We have fabricated freestanding, ultra-high aspect-ratio CAT grating bars from silicon-on-insulator wafers using both wet and dry etch processes. The 200 nm-period grating bars are supported by an integrated Level 1 support mesh, and a coarser external Level 2 support mesh. The resulting grating membrane is mounted to a frame, resulting in a grating facet. Many such facets comprise a grating array that provides light-weight coverage of large-area telescope apertures. Here we present fabrication results on the integration of CAT gratings and the different high-throughput support mesh levels and on membrane-frame bonding. We also summarize recent x-ray data analysis of 3 and 6 micron deep wet-etched CAT grating prototypes.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 October 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8147, Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy V, 81471L (7 October 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.895389
Show Author Affiliations
Ralf K. Heilmann, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (United States)
Alex Bruccoleri, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (United States)
Pran Mukherjee, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (United States)
Jonathan Yam, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (United States)
Mark L. Schattenburg, MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8147:
Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy V
Stephen L. O'Dell; Giovanni Pareschi, Editor(s)

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