Spectrum analysis in the ultrasoft X-ray region is complicated by the fact that this radiation is almost totally absorbed in any medium. This has necessitated spectrometer components which minimize this effect. Nondispersive and total reflection techniques, though high in speed, lack good resolution and in the case of the latter, are usually restricted to analysis of elements differing by at least three atomic numbers.
Diffracting media which have proven successful are the long-chain organic crystals and gratings at grazing incidence. The grating is superior to the organic crystal concerning resolution and dispersion and has proven to be comparable arid in some cases better for peak intensity and line-to-background ratios.
Lightly-ruled gratings have been used for many years, but little attention has been given the blazed grating until recently. Since the critical angle of total reflection for a given material is wavelength-dependent, it may be utilized to discriminate against shorter wavelengths and thus improve line-to-background ratios. The optimum conditions for sensitivity, then, would be to relate the input angle to the blaze angle and vary the input angle as a function of wavelength, thereby maximizing the line intensity or the line-to-backgrourid ratio as required.
Several gratings with varying blaze angles and surface finishes are evaluated with O Kα
(23.7Å) and C Kα
The importance of groove profile is emphasized by comparing the profile as determined by the electron microscope with the experimental evidence. The variation of diffraction efficiency with wavelength and input angle is then considered theoretically and compared with experimental results.