PhotonFoils will develop single crystal silicon carbide grids and membranes for X-ray telescopes and laboratory instruments. SiC grids are needed for microcalorimeter shields on Lynx, which cannot meet design requirements with existing grid materials. SiC grids can also also improve the signal stability of cooled imaging X-ray detectors, such as Lynx HDXI and Axis, by reducing contaminant accumulation in the optical path. NASA requires fine-featured, durable grids as membrane supports for X-ray, EUV, and particle detectors. SiC also offers a path for providing membrane support mesh with superior X-ray transmittance, usable in instruments such as spectrometers, without generating fluorescence artifacts associated with metal grids. The Lynx X-ray Grating Spectrometer will need an Optical Blocking Filter, for which SiC would provide a superior grid. Our proposed SiC grids would provide far superior heat shedding compared to existing grids used for near-solar missions. In addition to grids, our proposed fabrication technology can produce high strength, high bandgap membranes for laboratory X-ray windows, transducers, and transmissive detectors (e.g. X-ray dosimeters and position monitors). These membranes could be used for LWIR filter substrates, or for back-illuminated UV detectors with high collection efficiency.
In Phase I we prototyped methods to fabricate single-level SiC grids. In Phase II we will employ these methods to fabricate 2-Level grids, with geometries analogous to the silicon grids used for Hitomi SXS. In Phase II, we will also fabricate SiC membranes, and single-level grids, for various terrestrial and space telescope applications.
Grids for microcalorimeter entrance filters, Grids for cooled imaging detectors, Grids for electrical isolation, Plasma-facing membane transducers for thrust engines, High transmittance grids for improved EUV and particle beam filters, Quantum Efficiency Enhancement grids for improved microchannel plate imaging, Improved telescope entrance shields, Non-absorbing LWIR filter substrates, back-illuminated UV detectors with low leakage and high collection efficiency
Membranes for UV detectors with multi-GHz bandwidth
Beryllium-free X-ray pressure windows
Instrumented X-ray window flux meters, position monitors and imagers
Grid supports for pressure windows
Heat shedding grids for synchrotron beamlines, lasers, and high power EUV light sources
Harsh environment transducers
Gridless, artifact-free ptychography and tomography windows