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Technology Center for Optical Precision Gratings

An "investment in your future" of the European Union

Within the framework of the EU-funded research project, we aim to establish a a technology center for the manufacture of highly efficient optical precision gratings.

Installation of a technology center for highly efficient optical gratings at HZB

The Institute of Nanometre Optics and Technology (INT) of HZB establishes a technology center for production and characterisation of highly efficient precision gratings. This center was made possible by financial support from the European Union (EFRE contract 20072013 2/43).
This project combines the long time expertise, the large infrastructure and the leading position of our institute in the field of design, development, production, characterisation and application of high quality optics to be used for optical systems and synchrotron radiation beamlines from IR to hard x-rays.
Diffraction gratings for synchrotron radiation will be developed and produced by various methods in this center. Highest grating efficiency is obtained by blazed gratings which have a saw-tooth profile. The required precision of the saw-tooth profile in the nanometer range at blaze angles down to 0.1 degree is technologically challenging.
During the first project year, the R&D activities of the grating projects were focused on achieving four goals:
● the conceptual design and development of a new ruling machine
● the fabrication of Si blazed gratings by the chemical etching of asymmetrically cut Si crystals
● the development and construction of a new reflectometer for at-wavelength characterisation of the gratings
● the development and construction of a new ion etching machine.

The conceptual design of the new ruling machine was finished in summer 2011. The new machine is currently under construction. It is planned to be fully operational in the summer 2013.
The fabrication of blazed gratings on asymmetrically cut Si-crystals is curently in the development stage. Tests to find out best protection layers and etching processes for window definition were performed. The primary window definition is to be carried out by e-beam writing. Activities are now focused on adjusting the crystal plains during the wet etching process.
HZB has recently taken over the old gratings fabrication line from Carl Zeiss, Oberkochen including the old ruling machine, the ion etcher, the laser interference equipment, and the measurement and PVD equipment. It will be installed and used to improve upon the established processes. In the case of successful installation, first gratings can be fabricated.

Scientific Advisory Committee - SAC

All activities in the framework of the ongoing project will be critically accompanied by a competent committee of scientific advisors. They will give advice and make suggestions for further action. Our Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) consists of the following members:

Dr. Ulf Johansson (speaker)                      
MAXLAB, Lund, Schweden

Prof. Alan G. Michette                   
King‘s College London, GB

Dr. Ruben Reininger                                  
NSLS, Brookhaven, USA

Dr. Dmitry V. Roshchupkin                      
IMT Chernogolovka, Russland