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Silicon wafer bonding technique presented at COLMOL 2023

cosine is participating in the “Journée scientifique et technique collage moléculaire 2023” (COLMOL) conference, taking place on 14 November in Marseille, France. David Girou, scientist at cosine, will give a presentation about “Mirror stacking through molecular adhesion” at 16:00.

This scientific and technical day is dedicated to direct adhesion (molecular, covalent, metallic) bonding and its reinforcement by surface preparation and assembly treatment. Silicon remains the best-understood material with the most mature molecular bonding processes. This topic is very familiar to cosine, as its high-energy optics development team uses silicon wafer bonding through molecular adhesion in the production chain of the Silicon Pore Optics (SPO). Light-weight X-ray mirrors is one of the various of applications offered by the SPO technology.

Bonding and stacking many silicon wafers on top of each other is a technology initially developed by cosine in cooperation with ESA for a novel type of light weight X-ray lens. Our specialized fully automated stacking robots, developed in-house, can elastically deform and directly bond tens of patterned silicon wafers with micro-meter accuracy on top of each other, creating many potential shapes and structures for applications such as X-ray imaging and beyond. The silicon plates can be coated, grooved, wedged and structured with many different patterns.

This technology breaks the traditional assumption that thinner mirrors have to result in less imaging quality. By making use of the inherent stiffness of porous structures, very thin mirrors can be produced in a solid structure. A result is an amazingly large surface area at very low mass, very high accuracy and unparalleled cost-effectiveness.

The SPO technology helps realizing a completely novel type of X-ray mirror, which enables the largest X-ray telescope to be launched in the 2030s, ESA’s Athena. Athena (Advanced Telescope for High-ENergy Astrophysics) is designed to address key questions in astrophysics as part of the Cosmic Vision science theme, “The Hot and Energetic Universe”. For this ambitious project, cosine and its partners are developing and supplying hundreds of X-ray optics mirror modules.

About cosine
cosine is a leading worldwide company in the development of innovative measurement solutions from space, such as Silicon Pore Optics or remote sensing instrumentation with onboard analytics. We combine physics and technology to bring out-of-the-box solutions to our clients. We have been developing and delivering innovative measurement systems for space and industrial applications since 1998. Our company operates 1,000 m2 of cleanrooms and high-tech assembly facilities to build and test the systems we produce for customers at our headquarters in Sassenheim, The Netherlands.

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