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Scientists develop method for tuning monocrystalline optical systems for X-ray sources

This method allows new synchrotron systems to be designed at mega science facilities so that the resulting intense X-ray beam is not subject to glitches at different wavelengths

MOSCOW, March 25. /TASS/. Scientists at the International Research Center «Coherent X-ray Optics for "Mega-science" Facilities» at the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University together with scientists from the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), have developed a new method for tuning elements of X-ray optics used on new generation synchrotrons and on free electron lasers. This was reported on Friday by the press service of the Immanuel Kant Baltic Federal University.

As a result of work on the project, which is supported by a presidential scholarship for young scientists and postgraduate students, scientists from the Research Center, CFEL and ESRF developed a method for making measurements that allows to completely avoid intensity losses due to diffraction in single-crystal X-ray optics - the so-called X-ray glitches. This method allows the design of new synchrotron systems at the mega science facilities under construction in Russia so that the resulting intense X-ray beam is not subject to glitches at different wavelengths. This experience can also be applied to any X-ray facilities around the world.

"The obtained results were made possible by a painstaking analysis of the experimental data, as well as by an accurate theory we created describing the positions of glitches in the spectrum depending on the orientation and lattice parameters of the crystal. This theory, implemented in the form of well-optimized algorithms, made it possible to achieve very high accuracy in determining the parameters of monocrystalline optics. In addition, all developments are posted in the form of open-source programs that will allow the use of these developments to improve the performance of X-ray sources around the world," - the press service quotes the words of the leading researcher of CFEL Hamburg Alexander Efanov.

Prospects of application

The study of X-ray glitches in monocrystalline optical elements formed the basis of a new method developed by the researchers for tuning the optical elements of the synchrotron system to more accurately determine the wavelength of X-rays. Actual knowledge of the wavelength allows increasing the precision of the measurement of the parameters of the studied samples in the microcosm, since the reliable determination of any linear dimensions is proportional to the accuracy of the current wavelength of the X-ray radiation used.

"Another significant practical application of glitches is the ability to accurately determine the orientation of any crystal with respect to the X-ray beam. In addition, by analyzing the glitch spectra, any axis of rotation of a given crystal can be determined. This can be used to tune various single crystal elements, such as monochromators or beam splitters. In particular, such information would allow to adjust delay lines used to study dynamic processes, as well as a system that allows simultaneous illumination of a sample from different directions to obtain its three-dimensional picture without rotation. Such technologies are now rapidly developing on modern synchrotron radiation sources," explained Junior Researcher Natalia Klimova of the Research Center.

Director of International Science and Research center, Anatoliy Snigirev, noted that the scientists conducted a series of unique experiments, created a complete theoretical model, and were able to accurately predict and explain the observed effects. "Due to the formed understanding of the described effects, we showed a practical application of our approach to improve the accuracy and efficiency of synchrotron station equipment. <...> The described methods and the developed programs will be in demand at the new Mega science-class facilities, and the production of X-ray optics elements based on diamond and silicon at the IRRC RO and their subsequent widespread use at the research stations of next-generation synchrotron sources will ensure high-quality research in Russia in the long term," he said.