Silicon pore optics: a mature and adaptable X-ray mirror technology

David Girou, Laurens Keek, Randall K. Smith, Randall L. McEntaffer, Roland den Hartog, Marcos Bavdaz, Ivo Ferreira, Nicolas M. Barrière, Boris Landgraf, Giuseppe Vacanti, Maximilien Collon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Silicon Pore Optics (SPO) is a technology that makes it possible to build light-weight X-ray optics modules from silicon mirror plates using semiconductor industry technology and custom robots. By combining a large number of modules, the technology solves the problem of aperture segmentation and achieves a large collecting area with consistently high optical quality. Additionally, SPO is a highly adaptable technology that can be optimized for new applications beyond the Athena mission. Several applications have already been proposed for SPO, including Arcus Probe, a candidate probe-class mission that uses SPO modules in combination with transmission gratings to perform high-resolution spectroscopy. The Off-plane Grating Rocket Experiment (OGRE) uses SPO’s direct bonding techniques to align its reflection gratings to high accuracy. SPO has also been investigated in different optical designs, including X-ray interferometry. Furthermore, SPO technology can be used in Silicon Laue Components (SiLC) to focus hard X-rays and soft gamma rays in the energy range of 80 keV to about 500 keV. In conclusion, SPO technology is mature and can be mass-produced, enabling efficient adaptation to different needs. Its versatility and adaptability make it an excellent candidate for future X-ray astronomy missions and beyond.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy XI
EditorsStephen L. O'Dell, Jessica A. Gaskin, Giovanni Pareschi, Daniele Spiga
ISBN (Electronic)9781510665729
StatePublished - 2023
EventOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy XI 2023 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 22 2023Aug 24 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy XI 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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