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X_Ray Optics Technology for Light Source Facilities

Please Note that a Letter of Intent is due Tuesday, September 08, 2015 5:00pm ETProgram Area Overview Office of Basic Energy SciencesThe Office of Basic Energy Sciences (BES) supports fundamental research to understand, predict, and ultimately control matter and energy at the electronic, atomic, and molecular levels in order to provide the foundations for new energy technologies and to support DOE missions in energy, environment, and national security.  The results of BES_supported research are routinely published in the open literature. A key function of the program is to plan, construct, and operate premier scientific user facilities for the development of novel nanomaterials and for materials characterization through x_ray and neutron scattering; the former is accomplished through five Nanoscale Science Research Centers and the latter is accomplished through the world’s largest suite of light source and neutron scattering facilities.  These national resources are available free of charge to all researchers based on the quality and importance of proposed nonproprietary experiments. A major objective of the BES program is to promote the transfer of the results of our basic research to advance and create technologies important to Department of Energy (DOE) missions in areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy resources, improved use of fossil fuels, the mitigation of the adverse impacts of energy production and use, and future nuclear energy sources.  The following set of technical topics represents one important mechanism by which the BES program augments its system of university and laboratory research programs and integrates basic science, applied research, and development activities within the DOE. For additional information regarding the Office of Basic Energy Sciences priorities, click here.TOPIC 5. X_Ray Optics Technology for Light Source Facilities   Maximum Phase I Award Amount:  $150,000 Maximum Phase II Award Amount:  $1,000,000 Accepting SBIR Phase I Applications:  YES Accepting SBIR Fast_Track Applications:  YES Accepting STTR Phase I Applications:  YES Accepting STTR Fast_Track Applications:  YES High resolution x_ray focusing optics is important to many spatially resolved techniques at many synchrotron facilities, such as micro x_ray fluorescence, micro_diffraction, and micro_spectroscopy as well as many high resolution laboratory techniques. Important performance attributes include minimum spatial resolution achievable, focusing efficiency, working distance, and energy dependence (or achromatic properties).  Currently, leading high resolution x_ray focusing optics includes diffractive zone plate optics and reflective KB mirrors but there are well_known limitations for both optics. One promising solution is the design of singlebounce, axially symmetric mirror optics with parabolic inner profiles capable of focusing x_rays simultaneously in two orthogonal directions, which may overcome the long focal length limitation of KB mirrors. The advantages of such axially symmetric mirror optics may include short focal length, focal length independent of x_ray energy (achromatic), high focusing efficiency, and large numerical aperture. Advances in fabrication development and metrology open the possibility of fabricating axially symmetric optics with smaller focal sizes and smaller slope errors. The increased availability of axially symmetric mirror optics that reduce the stringent requirements on beamline coherence or divergence would enable the addition of nanoscale focusing techniques to many beamlines currently using x_ray micro_beam techniques in a cost_effective, compact, and simplistic manner without requiring the space and construction difficulties associated with the long beamlines required for KB mirrors. The impact of increased resolution and spatial sensitivity is a straightforward means to enable significant scientific advances for established facilities and many existing beamlines.  Grant applications are sought only in the following subtopics:  a. Development of Single Bounce Monolithic Axially Symmetric X_ray Mirror Optics with Parabolic Surface Profile  We seek proposals for development of single bounce monolithic axially symmetric x_ray mirror optic with parabolic surface profile that is capable of focusing x_rays to a sub_100 nm focal spot with a working distance greater than 10 mm. The principle investigator or the proposing company must have significant prior experience in similar development and adequate facilities for the proposed task.  Important features of the optics include minimum figure (slope) error and optic straightness to create a single spot sub 100 nm focus for incident x_ray energies between 2_20 keV.  Additional preferences include coating the reflecting surface with appropriate high mass density materials to increase the x_ray critical angle and numerical aperture. If Fast_Track application is proposed, an axially symmetric mirror optic with a focus less than 1 micrometer need to be fabricated and demonstrated.    Questions ? Contact: Eliane Lessner, eliane.lessner@science.doe.gov b. Other In addition to the specific subtopic listed above, the Department invites grant applications in other areas that fall within the scope of the topic description above.      Questions ? Contact: Eliane Lessner, eliane.lessner@science.doe.gov

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