We report on resolving power measurements of an X-ray reflection grating designed for use in an astronomical soft X-ray spectrograph. The grating was patterned via electron-beam lithography (EBL) to have fanned grooves to match the convergence of an illuminating beam. Grating measurements were conducted in an echelle-like mounting, which yields access to high diffraction orders in the soft X-ray bandpass (0.2-2.0 keV). By comparing the zeroth-order line-spread function to the telescope focus, we find evidence for minimal broadening (<1″) introduced by the figure of the grating. In addition, we fit for the spectral resolution (R = λ/Δλ) intrinsic to this grating using a Bayesian Markov Chain Monte Carlo approach. Using an ensemble fitting technique, we find that the grating resolution R exceeds 2200 (3σ lower bound). This current grating resolution meets the performance required for a notional soft X-ray grating spectroscopy mission measuring hot baryonic material in the extended halos of galaxies. Using ray-Trace simulations, we identify a geometric aberration resulting from path length differences across the width of the grating as a limiting factor in assessing the resolution of these gratings and discuss methods for placing better constraints on the inherent resolution of X-ray astronomical reflection gratings fabricated using EBL.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Astronomy and Astrophysics
- Space and Planetary Science