We have developed a double Lloyd's mirror wavefront-splitting interferometer, constituting a compact device for surface probing in the XUV and soft X-ray spectral domain. The device consists of two independently adjustable superpolished flat surfaces, operated under grazing incidence angle to reflect a diverging or parallel beam. When the mirrors are appropriately inclined to each other, the structure produces interference fringes at the required distance and with tuneable fringe period. The double Lloyd's mirror may be used alone for surface topography with nanometric altitude resolution, or in conjunction with an imaging element for interferometric XUV surface microscopy. In the latter case, resolution in the plane of the probed
surface is about micron, which is given by the quality of the imaging element and/or by the detector pixel size. Here, we present results obtained using the double Lloyd's mirror in two separate X-ray laser and high harmonics generation (HHG) application projects. The first
experiment was aimed at understanding microscopic nature of the effects involved in laserinduced optical damage of thin pellicles, exposed to sub-ns laser pulses (438 nm) producing fluence of up to 10 Jcm-2. The probing source in this case was a QSS neon-like zinc soft X-ray laser, proving a few mJ at 21.2 nm in ~100-ps pulses. The second experiment was carried out using a narrowly collimated HHG beam near 30 nm, employed to topographically probe the surface of a semiconductor chip.© (2005) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.