Ultra-high Resolution Optics for EUV and Soft X-ray Inelastic Scattering
We describe a revolutionary new approach to high spectral resolution soft x-ray optics. Conventionally in the soft x-ray energy range, high spectral resolution is obtained by use of a relatively low line density grating operated in 1st order with small slits. This severely limits throughput. This limitation can be removed by use of a grating either in very high order, or with very high line density, if one can maintain high diffraction efficiency. We have developed a new technology for achieving both of these goals which should allow high throughput spectroscopy, at resolving powers of up to 106 at 1 keV. Such optics should provide a revolutionary advance for high resolution lifetime free spectroscopy, such as RIXS, and for pulse compression of chirped beams. We report recent developmental fabrication and characterization of a prototype grating optimized for 14.2 nm EUV light. The prototype grating with a 200 nm period of the blazed grating substrate coated with 20 Mo/Si bilayers with a period of 7.1 nm demonstrates good dispersion in the third order (effective groove density of 15,000 lines per mm) with a diffraction efficiency of more than 33percent.