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Technology Transfer - Free-Standing Micro Structures

The Max-Planck-Institut provides the grating elements of one transmission ring for the NASA observatory Chandra (AXAF) to carry out X-ray spectroscopy of highest resolution covering a wavelength range of about 0.5 - 14 nm (0.08 - 2 keV). 540 individual grating elements are mounted onto a toroidal ring structure. Each of the elements consists of a free-standing gold grating with 1 µm grating period. The fine gold wires are held by two different support structures, a linear grid with 25.4 µm and a coarse triangular mesh with 2 mm spacing. They are subject to extreme requirements according to parallelism, spacing and thickness. The company Dr. Johannes Heidenhain, Traunreut, has manufactured already several thousand elements by using a lithographic method and delivered to the Max-Planck-Institut to perform measurements. Novel techniques have to be developed for the characterization of micro structures to assure the quality of the elements. Spectral resolving powers of more than 1000 are possible with these gratings.

LETG ring Figure 1: Four rings of the Low Energy Transmission Grating (LETG) spectrometer for the Chandra (AXAF) observatory with transmission grating elements.
LETG ring -
        zoom Figure 2: Enlarged clipping of the LETG from Fig. 1 showing single transmission grating elements.

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