A glass or metal wire is precisely etched to form the paraboloidal or ellipsoidal shape of the final desired capillary optic. This shape is created by carefully controlling the withdrawal speed of the wire from an etchant bath. In the case of a complete ellipsoidal capillary, the etching operation is performed twice in opposite directions on adjacent wire segments. The etched wire undergoes a subsequent operation to create an extremely smooth surface. This surface is coated with a layer of material which is selected to maximize the reflectivity of the radiation. This reflective surface may be a single layer for wideband reflectivity, or a multilayer coating for optimizing the reflectivity in a narrower wavelength interval. The coated wire is built up with a reinforcing layer, typically by a plating operation. The initial wire is removed by either an etching procedure or mechanical force. Prior to removing the wire, the capillary is typically bonded to a support substrate. One option for attaching the wire to the substrate produces a monolithic structure by essentially burying it under a layer of plating which covers both the wire and the substrate. The capillary optic is used for efficiently collecting and redirecting the divergent radiation from a source which could be the anode of an x-ray tube, a plasma source, the fluorescent radiation from an electron microprobe, or some other source of radiation.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. DE-FG03-96ER82185 awarded by the Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.