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Synchrotron optics

Incoatec offers thin film coatings for all kinds of synchrotron optics for beam guidance, beam shaping and other beamline experiments. Our unique possibilities in deposition techniques allow us to produce single layer and multilayer coatings up to 150 cm in length with a large variety of material combinations and designs. Together with our synchrotron business partners we also offer a wide range of complete optics solutions such as:

  • Double crystal multistripe multilayer monochromators
  • 1D and 2D curved optics
  • Total reflection optics
  • 2D focusing, collimating or hybrid Montel optics
  • Coating for gratings


Incoatec offers total reflection optics consisting of highly-stable carbon, silicon carbide, tungsten, ruthenium or other materials, multilayer coatings up to 500 mm as well as multi-stripe optics. Many research centers worldwide use our know-how and our optics.

Our thin film optics are characterized by:

  • low figure error
  • low roughness
  • high reflectivity
  • high stability and high damage threshold
Various mirror substrates: 50 cm fused silica, 60 cm Zerodur®

Total reflection optics

Total reflection optics are needed at synchrotron beamlines for beam guidance and beam alignment. This type of X-ray optics is used at grazing incidence angles and therefore more and more optics with lengths of 100 cm and more are required.

Graded multilayer coatings 500 mm in length. The deviation of the desired shape is less than ± 0.2 %.

Multilayer optics

These optics consist of multilayer films which reflect X-rays using the principle of Bragg diffraction. The single layers, each one only a few nanometers thick, are amorphous. The multilayer may consist of up to several hundred
layers. High reflectivity is obtained when the multilayer materials have a high density contrast and simultaneously a low absorption. The two X-ray optical properties of relevance, i.e. the absorption and dispersion, depend on the X-ray wavelength. Therefore, each wavelength requires its own particular type of multilayer, in order to achieve the best results. To get the optimum optics for a customer specific application we are able to carry out X-ray optical simulations.

Three-striped multilayer optics for tomographic microscopy and coherent radiology, with an optimized coating for different beam energies (TOMCAT at SLS, Switzerland, data courtesy of M. Stampanoni)

Double crystal multilayer monochromators

At imaging beamlines multilayer optics are often used as double crystal multilayer monochromators (DCMM). For example, in tomography a homogeneous and stable beam profile is required, in order to perform optimal background corrections. Due to the strong coherence of the radiation, particular care must be taken when designing the optics in order to avoid a deterioration in beam quality. Multilayer coatings with up to 5 stripes were produced with films homogeneities below 0.2% as well as with lateral gradients.

The picture left shows a three-striped multilayer optics with an optimized coating for different beam energies.

Stripe A:
d=40 Å, γ=0.5,
R > 80 % for 10<E<22keV
roughness 0.1 nm,
slope error 0.04“
Stripe B:
d=30 Å, γ=0.5,
R > 80 % for 22<E<45keV

Gratings coated with SiC for better reflectivity

Coated gratings

To enhance the grating efficiency in the spectral range from IR to UV, single layer coatings as Al, Ni, Pt, Cr/Au are in commend used. For specific VUV and soft X-ray applications, high density coatings such as carbon or SiC are widely used. Due to our sophisticated deposition technique we are able to offer you these type of coatings with excellent adhesion.

Montel Optics - 100-150 mm in length - with different cross sections from 40 x 40 mm to 10x10 mm

Montel optics for synchrotron beamlines

3rd Generation Montel Optics with slope errors < 2 arcsec are used at Synchrotron beamlines in analyzer systems for inelastic scattering experiments. First optics with this type of small slope errors were sold to NSLS and Diamond for scattering experiments. Montel optics with similar qualities are known from the latest lab-instruments like a Liquid Metal Jet Source.