Coating mirrors

Crystal Scientific has secured a £75,000 research and development grant to help it develop a method to enhance the performance of its x-ray mirrors.

A high tech firm in rural Northumberland has secured a £75,000 research and development grant from regional development agency One NorthEast to help it develop a method to enhance the performance of its x-ray mirrors.

Crystal Scientific, based in Alnwick, is a specialist manufacturer of x-ray mirrors used in synchrotron machines, and supplies its mirrors to research facilities like Diamond Light Source in Oxford, which uses synchrotron machines for academic and industry research. 

The grant will allow Crystal Scientific to meet the needs of the next generation of synchrotron experiments by applying a graded corrective coating to the mirror’s surface.

‘During the mechanical polishing of the x-ray mirror substrate, deviations often occur on the surface of the mirror.  We were delighted to receive this funding from One NorthEast as it will allow us to develop a profile coating process to correct these errors and ensure our mirrors are of the highest possible standards,’  said Simon Cockerton, managing director of Crystal Scientific.

‘There is huge potential for this new development as scientists and engineers will be able to source significantly better quality products than those currently commercially available, thus increasing the accuracy of their work.’