MESA+ University of Twente
Industrial focus group XUV Optics


Master assignment

Synthesis of multilayer structures with atomic scale layer thickness

Contact: dr. Andrey Yakshin (

This project aims for the development of multilayer systems for the use as spectroscopic elements. These serve the purpose of analyzing soft x-ray emission spectra of materials e.g. upon excitation by x-rays or electrons. The analysis then allows the quantitative determination of the x-ray emitting elements in the materials, a technique which in the final application reaches great precision, preferably down to the ppb range. The desired wavelength range for this application is in the 10 to a few nm band, with emphasis on the range below 6 nm, including the so-called water window, below 4.4 nm. To reach substantial reflectivity, the multilayered optics need to have atomically sharp layer interfaces. To meet this extreme requirement, different approaches on layer growth manipulation will be applied: low-energy ion beams during the layer deposition process, thermalized particle deposition, unbalanced magnetron sputtering with high flux of low energy particles. Other new approaches are continuously being proposed and tested. A series of metrology techniques is to be applied: at-wavelength reflectometry, Cu-Kα-reflectometry and diffraction, low energy ion scattering, XPS, AES, AFM, STM, and TEM.

Synthesis of atomically thin multilayer structures with thermalized particles and low energy ions