Increase of the Technological Readiness Level for the realization of hard X-/soft Gamma-ray Laue optics
Call ASI-INAF 2018: Studi di Astrofisica delle Alte Energie e di Fisica Astroparticellare, “Future Missioni”
  completed project [2019-2020]
Project Leader: Virgili, Enrico - Dipartimento di Fisica e Scienze della Terra, Università di Ferrara
Head of IMEM activities: Ferrari, Claudio (

A number of key problems in the field of astrophysics are unanswered due to the unsatisfactory sensitivity of the present instrumentation in the energy band X and Gamma. The solution involves the use of Laue lenses based on diffraction in crystals. The potential of Laue lenses is connected to the massive production of curved crystals and the alignment process which must be performed with an accuracy better than 10 arcsec. To demonstrate the feasibility of Laue lenses, a demonstrator will be created with ~ 100 perfect curved Ge crystals capable of focusing photons in the energy range of 90-180 keV. Thanks to this improvement of the TRL (Technology Readiness Level) it is possible to propose a mission equipped with broadband Laue objectives: as a medium-class stand-alone satellite or in a group of three mini satellites, one with a low energy (50-100 keV) Laue objective on board, another with a medium energy lens (90-300 keV) and the third with a high energy Laue lens (250-600 keV).

Role of IMEM unit

Optimisation of the production method and preparation of 10 germanium crystals, oriented and shaped with a curvature of 40 meters with a maximum error of 5%, using the method of controlled surface damage.

Project partners

  • University of Ferrara / INFN Section of Ferrara
  • INAF/IASF - Bologna
  • IMEM/CNR - Parma
wafer Ge Lappatura tessere
Wafer di Ge (001) tagliato in tessere da 10x30 mm2 Tessere prima e dopo la lavorazione alla lappatrice