Understanding the Performance of X-Ray Mirrors
The manufacture of x-ray mirrors is a rather specialized branch of the optical fabrication industry. As those who have had to deal with the procurement of these components well know, there are only a handful of optical companies who supply most of the grazing incidence optics in use at the synchrotron light source facilities in the United States. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, production of a grazing incidence asphere is usually a one-of-a-kind job. It does not lend itself to mass production methods. Not many optical houses are willing to commit the necessary resources for the fabrication of one-of-a-kind components. Secondly, because it is a one-of-a-kind job, it is labor-intensive, which drives up the cost on each individual item. A great deal of engineering and planning must go into the fixturing and design of the computer control program for numerically-controlled diamond turning machines for production of metal optics. Most end users tend to view the procurement of aspheric x-ray optics as a “catalog” process, i.e., that all one needs to do is choose the desired parameters from the manufacturers’ catalog of stock items and then expect delivery of the finished item (after considerable delay beyond the initial delivery date), which will then perform flawlessly as desired. In reality the procurement process is quite complex, starting with the initial tradeoff studies to choose between metal optics or glass-ceramic optics, continuing with the selection of a vendor who can best do the job, monitoring the progress of the job and finishing it with the final quality assurance inspection. Many times the component fails to pass the inspection and it is returned for further rework.
KeywordsPower Spectral Density Grazing Incidence Spatial Period Aspheric Surface National Synchrotron Light Source
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