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Nanofabrication of Zone Plates for Hard X-Ray Free-Electron Lasers
  Thesis defense

Friday 23 January 2015
from 10:00 to 12:00
at FA31
Speaker : Fredrik Uhlén (Department of Applied Physics, KTH)
Abstract : This Thesis describes the development of hard X-ray zone plates intended for focusing radiation at X-ray free-electron lasers (XFELs). XFELs provide unprecedented brightness and zone plates which are put in the intense X-ray beam are at risk of being damaged. Therefore, it is crucial to perform damage tests in order to design zone plates which can survive the XFEL beam. Zone plates are diffractive nanofocusing optics and are regularly used at highbrightness synchrotron beamlines in the soft and hard X-ray regime. The resolution of a zone plate is proportional to its outermost zonewidth and thus depends on the smallest feature that can be fabricated. State-of-the-art nanofabrication processes developed for zone plates are able to produce zonewidths down to 10 nm. However, for hard X-rays, the zone plates need to be of sufficient thickness to efficiently focus the radiation. Thus, the limit in the fabrication of hard X-ray zone plates lies in the high aspect-ratios. This Thesis describes two processes developed for highaspect- ratio nanostructuring. The first process uses tungsten as diffractive material. Aspect-ratios up to 1:15 have been accomplished. Furthermore, a mounting method of a central stop directly on the zone plate is also presented. The other fabrication process uses diamond, in which aspect-ratios of 1:30 have been demonstrated. Both processes rely on thin-film deposition techniques, electron-beam lithography, and reactive ion etching. Thanks to the materials’ excellent thermal properties these types of zone plates should be suitable for XFEL applications. Tungsten and diamond diffractive optics have been tested at an XFEL at Stanford (LCLS), and damage investigations were performed in order to determine the maximum fluence that could be imposed on the optics before degradation occured. The conclusion of these damage tests is that tungsten and diamond diffractive optics can survive the XFEL beam and could potentially be used in beamline experiments relying on nanofocused X-ray beams. Finally in this Thesis, characterization of two zone plates using an interferometer is presented, where it is also shown that the interferometric method can be used to pin-point beamline instabilities.

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