Gateway for:

Member Countries

X-ray Optics Based on Uranium Compounds


Soft X-ray Reflective Optics Based on Depleted Uranium Compounds and Transition Metals for the 3-6nm Wavelength Interval

Tech Area / Field

  • PHY-OPL/Optics and Lasers/Physics
  • MAN-MAT/Engineering Materials/Manufacturing Technology

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
FIAN Lebedev, Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk


  • Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore\nHimeji Institute of Technology, Japan, Himeji\nDepartment of the Navy / Naval Research Laboratory, USA, DC, Washington\nKorea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Korea, Taejon\nBESSY mbH, Germany, Berlin\nIFM, Linkoping University, Sweden, Linköping\nFOM-Institute for Atomic and Molecular Physics(AMOLF), The Netherlands, Amsterdam\nDESY, Germany, Hamburg\nTohoku University / Institute of Multidisciplinary Research for Advanced Materials, Japan, Sendai\nUniversity of Tokyo / Institute for Solid State Physics, Japan, Kashiva-si\nCenter for Nano Technology/University of Wisconsin, USA, WI, Madison\nUniversity Colorado State/Electrical & Computer Engineering, USA, CO, Fort Collins

Project summary

Multilayer X-ray optics offers wide opportunities for the creation of novel equipment for application in biology and medical science, solid state and plasma physics, material science and astronomy. A key component of the observed advance is artificial nanoscale periodical structures, which provide high normal incidence reflection at shorter and shorter wavelengths. However, in the important range of 3-6nm, the maximal realized reflectivity does not exceed 13% and remains far below theoretical predictions. This circumstance severely hinders the construction of high throughput imaging systems, which are necessary for laboratory-based applications, including the study of live objects and time resolving imaging.
The subject of this project is the search for new coatings, which show high reflection in the 3-6nm range. Two groups of coatings are considered in the proposal:
(a) multilayers based on transition (3d) metals,
(b) multilayers based on depleted uranium (DU) and its compounds.
Preliminary consideration of both periodic and aperiodic coatings shows significant advantages of the DU-based mirrors: higher peak reflectivity and, especially, much higher integral reflectivity (the product of peak reflectivity and bandwidth). Since boundary roughness and diffusion intermixing of layers are of great importance for short-period structures, both these factors were taken into account.
One more advantage of DU-based coatings is an insignificant change of reflectivity upon the substitution of one DU-material with another. This fact enables us to widely vary DU-material composition to obtain its compatibility with a spacer. The central task of the project is the development of technology to approach theoretical predictions and to increase normal incidence reflectivity at 3–6nm. Material science analysis under this proposal selects several DU compounds, which can form smooth and abrupt interfaces with a spacer material. These are the compounds that will be used for fabrication of multilayer mirrors.
As the mirrors contain only a very small quantity of depleted uranium, they will be safe for most applications. To test the performance of constructed optics, X-ray imaging experiments are scheduled at the final stage of the project.
The two partners in the project are the Russian Federal Nuclear Center (VNIITF) in Snezhinsk and the Lebedev Physical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences (LPI) in Moscow. The first specializes in the technology of nuclear materials, their applications and utilization. The second partner has been conducting fundamental work in X-ray optics and X-ray lasers for 20 years. The joint effort of these research centers is aimed at opening new opportunities in fundamental and applied science connected with effective X-ray optics.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


ISTC facilitates international science projects and assists the global scientific and business community to source and engage with CIS and Georgian institutes that develop or possess an excellence of scientific know-how.

Promotional Material

Значимы проект

See ISTC's new Promotional video view