Development of net-shape piezoelectric actuators for large X-ray optics

DR Sanmartin, Dou Zhang, Timothy Button, Carl Meggs, C Atkins, P Doel, David Brooks, C Feldman, R Willingale, A James, G Willis, A Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


The design of current X-ray telescope systems needs to reach a compromise between the resolution and sensitivity. A new area of interest of adaptive optics is the development of actively controlled thin X-ray mirrors, where aberrations would be corrected. Their assembly on an X-ray telescope would provide an instrument with both high resolution and sensitivity. The Smart X-Ray Optics (SXO) project comprises a U.K.-based consortium developing prototypes for the next generation of X-ray telescopes. The overall aim is to produce X-ray mirrors using thin, below 1mm, structures, comprising Ni mirror shells with bonded piezoelectric unimorph actuators, and with a target resolution of ~0.1 arcs. Such an optic would enable the design of an X-ray telescope with both a greater resolution and collective area than the best currently available by Chandra (0.5arcs) and XMM Newton (1650cm2) respectively. Lead zirconate titanate, PZT-based piezoelectric actuators are being developed in this programme to fit precisely the curved Ni mirror shell prototypes (100×300×0.4mm, radius of curvature 167mm). Viscous plastic processing has been chosen for the fabrication of net-shaped piezoelectric unimorph actuators 75×32×0.18mm, with radius of curvature conforming to those of the X-ray optic. Laser machining has been used for precisely controlling the actuator shape and for the definition of the multi-segment electrodes. Accurate control of the thickness, surface finish and curvature are the key factors to delivering satisfactory actuators. Results are presented concerning the fabrication and characterisation of the piezoelectric actuators, and the integration procedure on the nickel optic.
Original languageEnglish
Article number78030M
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010
EventAdaptive X-Ray Optics - San Diego, United States
Duration: 1 Aug 2010 → …


  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Smart X-ray Optics
  • X-ray telescopes
  • Piezoelectric actuators


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