Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Degree

Summer 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Physics

First Advisor

Randall L. McEntaffer

Abstract

Soft X-ray spectroscopy is a useful observational tool, offering information about high-temperature (10⁶ -- 10⁷ K) astrophysical plasmas and providing useful characterizations of a number of energetic systems, including accreting young stars, cosmic filaments between galaxies, and supermassive black holes. In order to yield high resolution spectra with good signal-to-noise, however, soft X-ray spectrometers must realize improvements in resolving power and effective area through the development of high performance gratings. Off-plane reflection gratings offer the capability to work at high dispersions with excellent throughput, and are a viable candidate technology for future X-ray spectroscopy missions. The off-plane geometry requires a customizable grating meeting distinct fabrication requirements, and a process for producing gratings meeting these requirements has been developed. These fabricated gratings have been evaluated for performance in terms of resolution and diffraction efficiency. Furthermore, these gratings have been conceptually implemented in a soft X-ray spectrometer, the Off-Plane Grating Rocket Experiment (OGRE), whose optical design provides a template for future missions to achieve high performance within a small payload envelope.

Keywords

Grating Fabrication, Gratings, Off-plane Gratings, X-ray Instrumentation, X-ray Spectroscopy

Pages

xv, 166

Bibliography

159-166

Copyright

Copyright 2016 Casey Thomas DeRoo

Included in

Physics Commons

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