Laboratory Manager

Robert Mroczka, PhD



The research projects implemented in the Laboratory of X-ray Optics aim to design, manufacture and test single-bounce metallic X-ray capillaries to be used in hard X-ray optics. From 2010 to 2015, the Laboratory preformed basic and application tests that involved production of the mandrel which served as a core for an electroforming capillary manufacturing. Manufacturing of a smooth surface is the most difficult and the most important part of this process. As a result of these experiments, it was possible to reduce two crucial parameters – slope error by four-fold (to 0.2 mrad) and roughness over ten-fold (to 0.5-0.6 nm). Following this work, numerous publications appeared in internationally recognized journals and research funds were granted by the EU for testing the capillaries with synchrotron radiation.

         Research on the optimisation of metallic capillary parameters is now being continued. The Laboratory of X-ray Optics is one of the few research facilities in the world with capacity for manufacturing metallic X-ray capillaries. The capillaries must meet highest quality requirements, thus the work on technologies regarding metallic capillary production requires rich experience and interdisciplinary knowledge within the fields of thin film preparation, electrodeposition and high-vacuum deposition. These areas must be expertly combined, as they form a start points  for subsequent stages of the original technology developed in the Laboratory. If these highflying capillary parameters are reached, the brand-new capillaries will replace those currently used in e.g. X-ray nanotomography and X-ray microfluorescence analysis.

         Owing to the rich experience of the team and the potential of the equipment, the Laboratory aims to cooperate with institutions planning or conducting research regarding advanced technologies, e.g. deposition of graphene on copper (manufacturing of graphene films) or production of conducting polymer films on solar panels.

         The experience gained by the team may be used in the field of preparation techniques, as well as the metrology of films generated in materials chemistry. Among the laboratory equipment which deserve special attention are an automated Atomic Force microscope and a ultrahigh vacuum thin-film deposition system. These instruments allow the team not only to obtain high-quality results, but also to undertake fully automated measurements, which proves their uniqueness.

The list of basic research instruments:

  • vacuum system for thin-film evaporation (PREVAC®);
  • large stage (LS)5600 Atomic force microscope (Agilent);
  • WYKO 9800NT optical interferometry (Veeco);
  • digital Autolab302N, 128Npotentiostat-galvanostat (Eco Chemie);
  • KSV701 tensiometer (KSV).