langue en ESA - 21/12/2016

Eric Wille: Catching X-rays in stacked silicon

ESA optics engineer Eric Wille explains the origin of silicon pore optics, the new optical technology underpinning Europes Athena space observatory to observe the hot, high-energy cosmos.

Polishing and stacking together silicon wafers normally used to manufacture integrated circuits allows the focusing of X-rays to see far further into space. ESA shares the patent for this technology with Cosine Research, the Dutch company currently developing it.

The mission launch is 12 years away, but work von preparing its silicon pore optics module is already well underway.