Technology: Nano-scale contact-mode lithography
Inprentus manufactures blazed, x-ray diffraction gratings using a new nano-scale contact mode lithography technique that can scribe thousands of lines per millimeter, providing the ultra-accuracy required for diffraction gratings used in x-ray and UV experiments at synchrotron facilities and scientific research institutions. This advanced technique, commercialized by Inprentus, utilizes a mechanical nano-scale scribing process that creates high-precision patterning of surfaces. Inprentus can scribe grating lines with blaze angles below 1 degree with an accuracy of 0.1 degree or better, without the need for ion-milling or other post-processing. Novel interferometry techniques developed at Inprentus allow for grating lines to be position with accuracy better than 20 nm over distances of 10 cm or larger. Using this technology, Inprentus creates gratings with resolving power up to 30,000, unprecedented for mechanically ruled diffraction gratings. Inprentus diffraction gratings are a core component of synchrotron spectrometry instrumentation, allowing scientsts to discover and characterize new material properties in life science, engineering and physics research.
Mechanically Ruled Blazed Diffraction Gratings
Mechanically ruled blazed diffraction gratings offer higer efficiency and resolving power for x-ray and EUV synchrotron applications, compared with other types of gratings (including holographic). Novel manufacturing techniques used at Inprentus have allowed for dramatic improvement in several important grating specifcations, including:
- Higher resolving power - Improved from a previous industry standard of 10,000 to over 30,000. Inprentus gratings measure up to 30,000 resolving power, and specifications continue to improve.
- Lower blaze angles down to 0.25° - Blaze angles have been lowered from previous industry limits of between 1 to 2 degrees to well below 1 degree.
- Increased line density (grooves per millimeter) - Line density requirements vary based on beamline specifications. Inprentus can manufacture 50-5000 lines per mm (l/mm), were previous ranges were typically 300 – 1900 l/mm.
- Improved delivery times - Typical delivery times have improved due to the high yield of the manufacturing process and the added capacity of multiple ruling machines to the manufacturing operation.