Development and calibration of mirrors and gratings for the soft x-ray materials science beamline at the Linac Coherent Light Source free-electron laser

Appl Opt. 2012 Apr 20;51(12):2118-28. doi: 10.1364/AO.51.002118.


This work discusses the development and calibration of the x-ray reflective and diffractive elements for the Soft X-ray Materials Science (SXR) beamline of the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS) free-electron laser (FEL), designed for operation in the 500 to 2000 eV region. The surface topography of three Si mirror substrates and two Si diffraction grating substrates was examined by atomic force microscopy (AFM) and optical profilometry. The figure of the mirror substrates was also verified via surface slope measurements with a long trace profiler. A boron carbide (B4C) coating especially optimized for the LCLS FEL conditions was deposited on all SXR mirrors and gratings. Coating thickness uniformity of 0.14 nm root mean square (rms) across clear apertures extending to 205 mm length was demonstrated for all elements, as required to preserve the coherent wavefront of the LCLS source. The reflective performance of the mirrors and the diffraction efficiency of the gratings were calibrated at beamline 6.3.2 at the Advanced Light Source synchrotron. To verify the integrity of the nanometer-scale grating structure, the grating topography was examined by AFM before and after coating. This is to our knowledge the first time B4C-coated diffraction gratings are demonstrated for operation in the soft x-ray region.

MeSH terms

  • Calibration
  • Electrons
  • Equipment Design
  • Lasers
  • Light*
  • Microscopy, Atomic Force / methods
  • Optics and Photonics / methods*
  • Photons
  • Silicon / chemistry
  • X-Rays


  • Silicon