Toward the fabrication of a 5-μm-resolution Wolter microscope for the National Ignition Facility (invited)

Rev Sci Instrum. 2022 Nov 1;93(11):113504. doi: 10.1063/5.0101304.


Advancements in computer-controlled polishing, metrology, and replication have led to an x-ray mirror fabrication process that is capable of producing high-resolution Wolter microscopes. We present the fabrication and test of a nickel-cobalt replicated full-shell x-ray mirror that was electroformed from a finely figured and polished mandrel. This mandrel was designed for an 8-m source-to-detector-distance microscope, with 10× magnification, and was optimized to reduce shell distortions that occur within 20 mm of the shell ends. This, in combination with an improved replication tooling design and refined bath parameters informed by a detailed COMSOL Multiphysics® model, has led to reductions in replication errors in the mirrors. Mandrel surface fabrication was improved by implementing a computer-controlled polishing process that corrected the low-frequency mandrel figure error and achieved <2.0 nm RMS convergence error. X-ray tests performed on a pair of mirror shells replicated from the mandrel have demonstrated <10 μm full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) spatial resolution. Here, we discuss the development process, highlight results from metrology and x-ray testing, and define a path for achieving a program goal of 5 μm FWHM resolution.