Abstract

Imperfections in the multilayer stack deposited on a saw-tooth substrate are the main factor limiting the diffraction efficiency of extreme ultraviolet and soft x-ray multilayer-coated blazed gratings (MBGs). Since the multilayer perturbations occur in the vicinity of antiblazed facets of the substrates, reduction of the groove density of MBGs is expected to enlarge the area of unperturbed multilayer and result in higher diffraction efficiency. At the same time the grating should be optimized for higher-order operation in order to keep high dispersion and spectral resolution. In this work we show the validity of this approach and demonstrate significant enhancement of diffraction efficiency of MBGs using higher-order diffraction. A new record for diffraction efficiency of 52% in the second diffraction order was achieved for an optimized MBG with groove density of 2525lines/mm at the wavelength of 13.4 nm.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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