Dr. Ralf K. Heilmann

Senior Member | Assoc. Dir. (SNL) /Principal Research Scientist at MIT Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research
Heilmann, Ralf K.
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SPIE Membership: 22.4 years
SPIE Awards: Senior status
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Profile Summary

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.

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