ThermoYield actuators: Nano-adjustable set-and-forget optics mounts

Michael D. Detienne, Alexander R. Bruccoleri, Brandon Chalifoux, Ralf K. Heilmann, Ross E. Tedesco, Mark L. Schattenburg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


The X-ray optics community has been developing technology for high angular resolution, large collecting area X-ray telescopes such as the Lynx X-ray telescope concept. To meet the high collecting area requirements of such telescope concepts, research is being conducted on thin, segmented optics. The mounts that fixture and align segmented optics must be the correct length to sub-micron accuracy to satisfy the angular resolution goals of such a concept. Set-andforget adjustable length optical mounting posts have been developed to meet this need. The actuator consists of a cylinder made of metal. Halfway up the height of the metal cylinder, a reduced diameter cylindrical neck is cut. To change the length of this actuator, an axial compressive or tensile force is applied to the actuator. A high-current electrical pulse is sent through the actuator, and this electrical current resistively heats the neck of the actuator. This heating temporarily reduces the yield strength of the neck, so that the applied force plastically deforms the neck. Once the current stops and the neck cools, the neck will regain yield strength, and the plastic deformation will stop. All of the plastic deformation that occurred during heating is now permanent. Both compression and expansion of these actuators has been demonstrated in steps ranging from 6 nanometers to several microns. This paper will explain the concept of ThermoYield actuation, explore X-ray telescope applications, describe an experimental setup, show and discuss data, and propose future ideas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VIII
EditorsStephen L. O'Dell, Giovanni Pareschi
ISBN (Electronic)9781510612556
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes
EventOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VIII 2017 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 8 2017Aug 10 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceOptics for EUV, X-Ray, and Gamma-Ray Astronomy VIII 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • Adjustable
  • Optical mount
  • Segmented optics
  • Set-and-Forget
  • X-ray mirror
  • X-ray telescope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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