Recently developed Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) grating technology - in combination with x-ray CCD
cameras and large collecting-area focusing optics - will enable a new generation of soft x-ray spectrometers
with unprecedented resolving power and effective area and with at least an order of magnitude improvement in
figures-of-merit for emission and absorption line detection. This technology will be essential to address a number
of high-priority questions identified in the Astro2010 Decadal Survey “New Worlds New Horizons” and open the
door to a new discovery space. CAT gratings combine the advantages of soft x-ray transmission gratings (low
mass, relaxed figure and alignment tolerances, transparent at high energies) and blazed reflection gratings (high
broad band diffraction efficiency, utilization of higher diffraction orders to increase resolving power). We report
on progress in the fabrication of large-area (31× 31 mm2) free-standing gratings with two levels of low-blockage
support structures using highly anisotropic deep reactive-ion etching.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ralf K. Heilmann ; Alex R. Bruccoleri ; Pran Mukherjee and Mark L. Schattenburg
Progress in the development of critical-angle transmission gratings
", Proc. SPIE 8443, Space Telescopes and Instrumentation 2012: Ultraviolet to Gamma Ray, 84430W (September 7, 2012); doi:10.1117/12.926827; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.926827