Mirrors and diffraction gratings are among the most commonly used optics at X-ray/EUV beamlines where they act in various roles including beam deflection, harmonic rejection, monochromatisation and beam focusing.

The performance of such devices is intimately dependent upon the shape fidelity and roughness of their optical surfaces. Even today, despite considerable improvements in manufacturing, the quality of these optical components remains a fundamental limit to the quality of the photon beams delivered by the LEAPS facilities.

The Superflat work package aims to improve European capabilities for the production of very high-quality X-ray mirror and grating substrates which are key to achieving the ultimate performance of our user facilities. The workpackage is part of the LEAPS-INNOV project.

Superflat: 10 LEAPS partners are combining their expertise across 3 principal activities:

    1. A Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) action to develop pilot processes for the industrial production of moderate length flat X-ray mirrors with sub-1 nanometre figure errors and sub-50 nanoradian slope errors with surface roughness below 1 Ångström
    2. The exploration of basic limits of figure correction technologies for X-ray mirrors in view of more complex optical figures
    3. The development of new metrology methods and protocols suitable for implementation in industrial environments applicable to complex (freeform) optical figures.

At the end of the project Superflat aims to deliver:

    • One or more industrially sustainable process capable of producing highest quality flat optics (and extendable to other geometries with future investment)
    • A better understanding of the limitation of various processing methods of corrective figuring for X-ray reflective optics applications
    • Validated metrology techniques suitable for integration in industrial processes for X-ray mirror manufacture.