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A high-performance W/B4C multilayer mirror with 80 periods of nominally 1.37 nm was measured by grazing-incidence small-angle X ray scattering (GISAXS) in order to analyse the lateral and vertical correlations of the interface roughness within the framework of a scaling concept of multilayer growth. A dynamic growth exponent z = 2.19 (7) was derived, which is close to the value predicted by the Edwards–Wilkinson growth model. The effective number of correlated periods indicates a partial replication of the low interface roughness frequencies. A simulation of the GISAXS pattern based on the Born approximation suggests a zero Hurst fractal parameter H and a logarithmic type of autocorrelation function. The as-deposited mirror layers are amorphous and exhibit excellent thermal stability up to 1248 K in a 120 s rapid thermal vacuum annealing process. At higher temperatures, the B4C layers decompose and poorly developed crystallites of a boron-rich W–B hexagonal phase are formed, and yet multilayer collapse is not complete even at 1273 K. Ozone treatment for 3000 s in a reactor with an ozone concentration of 150 mg m−3 results in the formation of an oxidized near-surface region of a thickness approaching ∼10% of the total multilayer thickness, with a tendency to saturation.

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