Nanotechnology Now







Heifer International

Wikipedia Affiliate Button


DHgate

Home > Press > MIT team develops better X-ray nanomirrors: Nanotechnology will enhance future telescopes

Gratings used to manipulate X-rays for future space telescopes and other applications, like tiny miniaturized venetian blinds, were created using this interference lithography patterning tool, called the nanoruler, developed at MIT's Space Nanotechnology Laboratory. The colorful, diffracting wafer at center has a diameter of 12 inches. Photo / Ralf Heilmann
Gratings used to manipulate X-rays for future space telescopes and other applications, like tiny miniaturized venetian blinds, were created using this interference lithography patterning tool, called the nanoruler, developed at MIT's Space Nanotechnology Laboratory. The colorful, diffracting wafer at center has a diameter of 12 inches. Photo / Ralf Heilmann

Abstract:
A new way of bending X-ray beams developed by MIT researchers could lead to greatly improved space telescopes, as well as new tools for biology and for the manufacture of semiconductor chips.

MIT team develops better X-ray nanomirrors: Nanotechnology will enhance future telescopes

Cambridge, MA | Posted on June 10th, 2008

X-rays from space provide astronomers with important information about the most exotic events and objects in our universe, such as dark energy, black holes and neutron stars. But X-rays are notoriously difficult to collect and many interesting cosmic sources are faint, which makes collecting these high-energy rays difficult and time-consuming, even with telescopes on satellites far above our X-ray-absorbing atmosphere.

Now a group of researchers from MIT has fabricated a new, highly efficient nanoscale Venetian-blind-like device that contains thousands of ultrasmooth mirror slats per millimeter for use in future improved space-based X-ray telescopes. The so-called Critical-Angle Transmission (CAT) gratings feature dense arrays of tens-of-nanometer-thin, freely suspended silicon structures that serve as efficient mirrors for the reflection and diffraction of nanometer-wavelength light--otherwise known as X-rays.

New instrument designs based on these gratings could also lead to advances in fields beyond astrophysics, from plasma physics to the life and environmental sciences, as well as in extreme ultraviolet lithography, a technology of interest to the semiconductor industry. The concept behind CAT gratings might also open new avenues for devices in neutron optics and for the diffraction of electrons, atoms and molecules.

Based on an invention by Ralf Heilmann and Mark Schattenburg of the Space Nanotechnology Laboratory (SNL) at the MIT Kavli Institute of Astrophysics and Space Research, the daunting fabrication challenges were overcome by graduate student Minseung Ahn of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at MIT in a yearlong effort, with the help of financial support from NASA and a Samsung Fellowship.

Motivated by technology goals for NASA's next-generation X-ray telescope, called Constellation-X, the new devices promise to improve more than five-fold upon the efficiency of the transmission gratings on board NASA's Chandra X-Ray Observatory (launched in 1999), which were also built at the Space Nanotechnology Lab. The reason for this improvement lies in the fact that in the new design, X-rays are reflected very efficiently at very shallow angles--akin to skipping stones on water--from the sub-nanometer-smooth sidewalls of the silicon slats, through the spaces between the slats. Also, in the earlier version the X-rays had to pass through a supporting substrate of polyimide, which absorbed many of the rays and reduced the grating's efficiency.

The silicon slats--as thin as 35 nanometers, which is comparable to the smallest feature sizes still under development in commercial computer chip manufacturing--are parallel to each other and separated by as little as about 150 nanometers. The slats have to extend many micrometers in the remaining two dimensions. "Imagine a thin, 40-foot-long, 8-foot-tall mirror, with surface roughness below a tenth of a millimeter," says Heilmann. "Then put tens of thousands of these mirrors next to each other, each spaced precisely an inch from the next. Now shrink the whole assembly--including the roughness--down by a factor of a million, and you have a good CAT grating."

Recent X-ray test results from a prototype device, obtained with the help of Eric Gullikson of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, confirmed that it met theoretical expectations. The results of this work will be published in Optics Express (Vol. 16, No. 12) on June 9. They were also presented at the 52nd Intl. Conference on Electron, Ion and Photon Beam Technology and Nanofabrication in Portland, Ore., on May 28, and will be presented again at the SPIE Conference on Astronomical Telescopes and Instrumentation in Marseille, France, on June 23.

####

About MIT
The mission of MIT is to advance knowledge and educate students in science, technology, and other areas of scholarship that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century.

For more information, please click here

Contacts:
Elizabeth A. Thomson
MIT News Office
Phone: 617-258-5402

Copyright © MIT

If you have a comment, please Contact us.

Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.

Bookmark:
Delicious Digg Newsvine Google Yahoo Reddit Magnoliacom Furl Facebook

Related News Press

News and information

Advantest to Exhibit at SEMICON Korea in Seoul, South Korea February 4-6 Showcasing Broad Portfolio of Semiconductor Products, Technologies and Solutions January 29th, 2015

Park Systems Announces Innovations in Bio Cell Analysis with the Launch of Park NX-Bio, the only 3-in-1 Imaging Nanoscale Tool Available for Life Science Researchers January 29th, 2015

2015 Nanonics Image Contest January 29th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use MOFs to Eliminate Dye Pollutants January 29th, 2015

Discoveries

Creating new materials with quantum effects for electronics January 29th, 2015

Los Alamos Develops New Technique for Growing High-Efficiency Perovskite Solar Cells: Researchersí crystal-production insights resolve manufacturing difficulty January 29th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use MOFs to Eliminate Dye Pollutants January 29th, 2015

Made-in-Singapore rapid test kit detects dengue antibodies from saliva: IBN's MedTech innovation simplifies diagnosis of infectious diseases January 29th, 2015

Announcements

Advantest to Exhibit at SEMICON Korea in Seoul, South Korea February 4-6 Showcasing Broad Portfolio of Semiconductor Products, Technologies and Solutions January 29th, 2015

Park Systems Announces Innovations in Bio Cell Analysis with the Launch of Park NX-Bio, the only 3-in-1 Imaging Nanoscale Tool Available for Life Science Researchers January 29th, 2015

2015 Nanonics Image Contest January 29th, 2015

Iranian Scientists Use MOFs to Eliminate Dye Pollutants January 29th, 2015

Tools

Hiden Gas Analysers at PITTCON 2015 | Visit us on Booth No. 1127 January 29th, 2015

Advantest to Exhibit at SEMICON Korea in Seoul, South Korea February 4-6 Showcasing Broad Portfolio of Semiconductor Products, Technologies and Solutions January 29th, 2015

Park Systems Announces Innovations in Bio Cell Analysis with the Launch of Park NX-Bio, the only 3-in-1 Imaging Nanoscale Tool Available for Life Science Researchers January 29th, 2015

2015 Nanonics Image Contest January 29th, 2015

Aerospace/Space

Asteroid Mining 101: A New Book by World-Renowned Expert Dr. John S. Lewis - Exclusive Sneak-Peek Opportunity for Book Reviewers and Media January 29th, 2015

Scientists 'bend' elastic waves with new metamaterials that could have commercial applications: Materials could benefit imaging and military enhancements such as elastic cloaking January 23rd, 2015

Teijin to Participate in Nano Tech 2015 January 22nd, 2015

Production of Special Nanocomposite in Iran with Application in Railways December 23rd, 2014

Events/Classes

Hiden Gas Analysers at PITTCON 2015 | Visit us on Booth No. 1127 January 29th, 2015

Advantest to Exhibit at SEMICON Korea in Seoul, South Korea February 4-6 Showcasing Broad Portfolio of Semiconductor Products, Technologies and Solutions January 29th, 2015

Pittcon News: Renishaw adds to the comprehensive imaging options available with its inVia confocal Raman microscope January 27th, 2015

Nanometrics to Present at the Stifel 2015 Technology, Internet and Media Conference January 27th, 2015

NanoNews-Digest
The latest news from around the world, FREE



  Premium Products
NanoNews-Custom
Only the news you want to read!
 Learn More
NanoTech-Transfer
University Technology Transfer & Patents
 Learn More
NanoStrategies
Full-service, expert consulting
 Learn More










ASP
Nanotechnology Now Featured Books




NNN

The Hunger Project







© Copyright 1999-2015 7th Wave, Inc. All Rights Reserved PRIVACY POLICY :: CONTACT US :: STATS :: SITE MAP :: ADVERTISE