NWO has recently granted a proposal of the University of Twente to address challenging research questions on thin film based XUV optics. In an industrial consortium, the XUV Optics group at MESA+ at Twente has been funded to carry out a multitude of thin film research projects through the NWO Industrial Partnership Programme.
The research is aimed to develop the missing physics understanding for new types of thin film optics. The insights then can act as physics instruments, or 'tools', to enable the realization of the new optics: a thin-film physics 'toolbox' is made available. It will become possible to manipulate the processes of atomically thin, complex layered materials systems which satisfy optics laws in the XUV range: complex optical indices need to be fine-tuned by altering electronic structures, layer roughness levels need to be further mitigated to the sub-tenth nanometer level, thin film materials stresses need to be controlled, and thermally and chemically induced diffusion processes need to be fundamentally limited. All these processes require new types of diagnostics with sub-tenth nanometer layer thickness resolution and sensitivity to the atomic-level, chemical state. These physics tools in this IPP toolbox then serve to design, build, and diagnose the various XUV optical components.