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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Development of an ultra-high resolution diffraction grating for soft x-rays


Resonant Inelastic X-ray Scattering (RIXS) is the one of the most powerful methods for investigation of the electronic structure of materials, specifically of excitations in correlated electron systems. However the potential of the RIXS technique has not been fully exploited because conventional grating spectrometers have not been capable of achieving the extreme resolving powers that RIXS can utilize. State of the art spectrometers in the soft x-ray energy range achieve ~;0.25 eV resolution, compared to the energy scales of soft excitations and superconducting gap openings down to a few meV. Development of diffraction gratings with super high resolving power is necessary to solve this problem. In this paper we study the possibilities of fabrication of gratings of resolving power of up to 106 for the 0.5 1.5 KeV energy range. This energy range corresponds to all or most of the useful dipole transitions for elements of interest in most correlated electronic systems, i.e., oxygen K-edge of relevance to all oxides, the transition metal L2,3 edges, and the M4,5 edges of the rare earths. Various approaches based on different kinds of diffraction gratings such as deep-etched multilayer gratings, and multilayer coated echelettes are discussed. We also present simulations of diffraction efficiency for such gratings, and investigate the necessary fabrication tolerances.

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