Stress manipulated coating for fabricating lightweight X-ray telescope mirrors

Youwei Yao, Xiaoli Wang, Jian Cao, Melville Ulmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


In this paper we present a method to correct the surface profile of an X-ray mirror by u s i n g a stress manipulated coating on the back side of mirror shells. The ability to fabricate a thin walled mirror by some replication process is required if future affordable X-ray space missions are to have ~30 times the effective area of the current best X-ray observatory, i.e., the Chandra X-ray Observatory (CXO). Thus, some process is necessary f o r using replicated X-ray optics to make the next generation X-ray observatory. However, although the surface roughness of sub-100 μm length scales can be replicated, no known replication technique can make 1 arc-second or better CXO-like optics. Yet, because the images produced by the CXO are so exquisite, many X-ray astronomers are not willing to settle for less in the future. Therefore, a post replication technique must be developed to make future major X-ray astronomy missions possible. In this paper, we describe a technique based on DC magnetron sputtering. For figure correction, we apply a controlled bias voltage on the surface during the sputtering. We show that we can produce, in 1-D, shape changes large enough (1 μm over 10 mm) to correct the typical figure errors in replicated optics. We demonstrate reproducibility on an order o f 0.6%, and stability over weeks on a scale of less than 1 μm over 10 mm. For these tests, we used 200 μm thick pieces of D263 Schott glass, about 5 mm x 20 mm. In addition to the basic concept of controlling the stress with the coating, we describe a new optimization software design to calculate the stress distribution for a desired surface profile. We show that the combination of the stress optimization software coupled with the coating process, can reduce the slope error of a 5mm x 20mm glass sample by a factor of ten.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)28605-28618
Number of pages14
JournalOptics Express
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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