Future observatories utilizing reflection grating spectrometers for extreme ultraviolet (EUV) and soft X-ray (SXR) spectroscopy require high-fidelity gratings with both blazed groove facets and custom groove layouts that are often fanned or feature a slight curvature. While fabrication procedures centering on wet anisotropic etching in monocrystalline silicon produce highly efficient blazed gratings, the precision of a nonparallel groove layout is limited by the cubic structure of the silicon crystal. This motivates the pursuit of alternative techniques to grating manufacture, namely thermally activated selective topography equilibration (TASTE), which uses gray-scale electron-beam lithography to pattern multilevel structures in resist followed by an optimized polymer thermal reflow to smooth the 3D patterns into continuous surface relief profiles. Using TASTE, a mold for a reflection grating with a periodicity of 400 nm and grooves resembling an asymmetric sawtooth was patterned in 130 nm thick poly(methyl methacrylate) resist on a silicon substrate over a 50 mm by 7.5 mm area. This structure was coated with 15 nm of gold by electron-beam physical vapor deposition using titanium as an adhesion layer and then tested for EUV and SXR diffraction efficiency at beamline 6.3.2 of the Advanced Light Source synchrotron facility. Results demonstrate a quasi-blaze response characteristic of a 27 blaze angle with groove facets smooth to 1.5 nm rms. Absolute peak-order efficiency ranges from 75% to 25%, while total relative efficiency measures 90% across the measured bandpass of 15.5 nm > λ > 1.55 nm.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science