Abstract

The design of a versatile high-precision eight-axis ultrahigh-vacuum-compatible polarimeter is presented. This multipurpose instrument can be used as a self-calibrating polarization detector for linearly and circularly polarized UV and soft-x-ray light. It can also be used for the characterization of reflection or transmission properties (reflectometer) or polarizing and phase-retarding properties (ellipsometer) of any optical element. The polarization properties of Mo/Si, Cr/C, Cr/Sc, and Ni/Ti multilayers used in this polarimeter as polarizers in transmission and as analyzers in reflection have been investigated theoretically and experimentally. In the soft-x-ray range, close to the 2p edges of Sc, Ti, and Cr, resonantly enhanced phase retardation of the transmission polarizers of as much as 18° has been measured. With these newly developed optical elements the complete polarization analysis of soft-x-ray synchrotron radiation can be extended to the water-window range from 300 to 600 eV.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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