Abstract

X-ray astronomy research is often limited by the size, weight, complexity, and cost of functioning x-ray optics. Micropore optics promises an economical alternative to traditional (e.g., glass or foil) x-ray optics; however, many manufacturing difficulties prevent micropore optics from being a viable solution. Ezoe et al. introduced microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) micropore optics having curvilinear micropores in 2008. Made by either deep reactive ion etching or x-ray lithography, electroforming, and molding (LIGA), MEMS micropore optics suffer from high micropore sidewall roughness (1030nmrms) which, by current standards, cannot be improved. In this research, a new alternating magnetic-field-assisted finishing process was developed using a mixture of ferrofluid and microscale abrasive slurry. A machine was built, and a set of working process parameters including alternating frequency, abrasive size, and polishing time was selected. A polishing experiment on a LIGA-fabricated MEMS micropore optic was performed, and a change in micropore sidewall roughness of 9.3±2.5nmrms to 5.7±0.7nmrms was measured. An improvement in x-ray reflectance was also seen. This research shows the feasibility and confirms the effects of this new polishing process on MEMS micropore optics.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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