Carmen Menoni (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Mark Bradley (Physics) have been awarded a three-year, $500,000 grant by the National Science Foundation.  “Ion sculpting”, i.e., bombarding a solid with a broad ion beam, can produce a remarkable variety of self-assembled nanoscale patterns on a surface. This project combines experiments and theoretical investigations with the goal of demonstrating a novel ion sculpting method to fabricate multilayer blazed diffraction gratings. The method has the potential to produce gratings of unprecedented efficiency for use at extreme ultraviolet and soft x-ray wavelengths. The theoretical work will facilitate the optimization of the ion-sculpting process and guide the experiments. State-of-the-art deposition equipment and at-wavelength metrology will provide the infrastructure needed to fabricate and test the multilayer metal-dielectric gratings.

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