Impact of annealing on performance of X-ray mirror coatings for Athena

P. L. Henriksen*, D. D.M. Ferreira, S. Massahi, S. Svendsen, N. Gellert, F. E. Christensen, A. S. Jegers, B. Landgraf, A. Thete, M. Collon, E. Handick, L. Cibik, M. Krumrey, C. Gollwitzer, I. Ferreira, B. Shortt, M. Bavdaz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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As part of the manufacturing process of mirror modules for the Athena X-ray telescope, Silicon Pore Optics plates are assembled into mirror module stacks. The plates that form each stack are held together by direct bonding, relying on van der Waals forces and covalent bonds for adhesion. One way to increase the strength of the covalent bonds is through annealing of the mirror stacks. It is of critical importance to the mission to ensure compatibility between the reflective coating and any post-coating processing of the plates. We present our findings of the impact of annealing on the X-ray re ectance of coated mirrors relevant for the Athena mission. These are Ir single layers, as well as Ir/B4C, Ir/SiC, and Ir/C bilayers. We investigate the effect on the performance of the coatings after annealing at atmospheric pressure and at a low vacuum using X-ray reflectometry. B4C is found to suffer degradation from annealing under atmospheric conditions but not when annealed in vacuum. All other materials investigated are robust to atmospheric annealing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE : Optics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy X
EditorsStephen L. O'Dell, Jessica A. Gaskin, Giovanni Pareschi
Number of pages10
PublisherSPIE - International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication date2021
Article number118220D
ISBN (Electronic)9781510644823
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventSPIE Optical Engineering + Applications 2021 - San Diego, United States
Duration: 1 Aug 20215 Aug 2021


ConferenceSPIE Optical Engineering + Applications 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego
SeriesProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


  • Athena
  • X-ray mirrors
  • Reective coatings
  • Annealing
  • X-ray reectometry


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