High Precision Engineering

Recently, the x-ray optics community has been developing technology for high angular resolution, large collecting area telescopes such as the Lynx mission concept. To meet the high collecting area requirements of such telescopes, research is being conducted on thin, segmented optics for assembly. Two key aspects of high precision assembly work are a reduction of distortion and precision alignment of mirror bonding.

Izentis has developed precision mounting posts, or ThermoYield actuators, for MIT. The posts are nano-adjustable set-and-forget optical mounts used for alignment. While heating the posts between two mirrors, a constant force can compress the post until the mirrors are perfectly aligned. The target application of ThermoYield actuators is the precision alignment and mounting of thin-shell x-ray mirrors.

A metal post between two mirrors, designed to be compressed in order to perfectly align the mirrors.

Additionally, we have used nanofabrication techniques to create trenches around a bonding point, localizing the stress distribution for mirror bonding. By etching a localized geometry modification, stress that is normally caused by epoxy during mirror bonding can be reduced. This method is used to minimize the degradation of the resolution of telescopes that are constructed using ThermoYield actuators.

A groove that centralizes and reduces the distortion of the mirror.

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