A 95-cm long mirror, more precise than any ever built, was delivered to European XFEL, an X-ray laser research facility being built in Hamburg. This superflat mirror does not deviate from its surface quality by more than one nanometre or a billionth of a metre. It is the first of many needed for the European XFEL.
DESY research centre is main shareholder
Harald Sinn, who leads the European XFEL X-Ray Optics group, said: “When we first started working on these optics, we were looking for something that simply didn’t exist at anywhere near this precision”, adding, “Now we have the first ever mirror at this extreme specification.”
The European XFEL will generate ultra short X-ray flashes – 27,000 times per second and with a brilliance one billion times higher than that of the best conventional X-ray radiation sources. The world’s unique facility will open entirely new research possibilities for scientists and industrial users. The main shareholder, Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), is playing a key role in building and operating the facility.
International nano cosmos research project
The precision of the European XFEL mirror is equivalent to a 40-km long road without bumps larger than the width of a hair. The mirror’s production is the culmination of a long research and development process involving several institutes and companies in Japan, France, Italy and Germany. The mirror will enable scientists all over the world to reliably use the world’s brightest X-ray laser light for research into ultrafast chemical processes, complex molecular structures, and extreme states of matter.