Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In


First Advisor

McEntaffer, Randall L.

First Committee Member

Boggess, Thomas

Second Committee Member

Kletzing, Craig

Third Committee Member

Gayley, Kenneth

Fourth Committee Member

Cash, Webster


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.


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


xv, 166 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 159-166).


Copyright 2016 Casey Thomas DeRoo

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