High-resolution x-ray optics at the Space Nanotechnology Laboratory: From nanometers to gigaparsecs
The Space Nanotechnology Laboratory (SNL) develops advanced lithography and nano-fabrication technology for high performance space instrumentation, as well as nanometer-accuracy metrology and assembly technology. Two current efforts are the development of nanofabricated soft x-ray gratings, the so-called critical-angle transmission (CAT) gratings, and the development of high-precision focusing X-ray mirrors. CAT gratings require the fabrication of sub-micron structures with extreme geometries and sub-nanometer precision, while x-ray mirrors are formed at 600 deg C while floating on porous air bearings and shaped further using ion implantation. These efforts are aimed at instruments that can help find the missing baryons in the Cosmic Web and reveal the secrets of dark matter.
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