A study of the materials properties of WC/SiC multilayer coatings is presented. We investigated the dependence of interface and surface roughness, intrinsic stress, microstructure, chemical composition, and stoichiometry as a function of multilayer period and in some cases compared these to W/SiC multilayer systems. The WC/SiC material pair forms multilayers with extremely smooth and sharp interfaces and both materials remain amorphous over a wide range of thicknesses. These properties are desirable for multilayer-based high-resolution diffractive x-ray optics, such as multilayer Laue lenses (MLLs), which require very thick films in which the layer spacing varies considerably. Thermal and structural stability studies show that WC/SiC multilayers have exceptional thermal stability, making this an extremely robust and favorable material pair for MLLs and other multilayer-based X-ray optical elements.
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