Simon Alcock


Simon Alcock is a Senior Metrology Scientist in the Optics and Metrology Group. He did a PhD in X-ray surface diffraction and a MPhys degree in Physics at the University of Leicester, before starting to work at Diamond in 2002.

Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0) 1235 778148

Techniques and Disciplines

Latest Publications

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Research Expertise

Nano-metrology of synchrotron X-ray optics and associated opto-mechanics and motion stages is my area of research.

My research work focuses on development of new metrology instrumentation and techniques to help to create next-generation X-ray optics for synchrotron beamlines. Improved X-ray optics are of direct benefit to Diamond's beamlines to produce more intense, focusssed X-ray beams for science.
I am also involved in research to create next-generation metrology instruments and techniques.

My current role at Diamond entails following parts:
  • Overseeing operations in the Optics & Metrology cleanroom lab and Precision Metrology lab (PML).
  • Site acceptance testing of X-ray mirrors.
  • Installing and optimising the mirrors into their beamline opto-mechanical holders.
  • Provide assistance during installation of X-ray optics on to the beamlines.


Nano-metrology: the art of measuring X‐ray mirrors with slope errors <100 nanoradians”, S.G. Alcock, I. Nistea, K. Sawhney, Rev. Sci. Instr. 87 051902 (2016)
DOI: 10.1063/1.4949272

"A novel instrument for generating angular increments of 1 nanoradian", S.G. Alcock, A. Bugnar, I. Nistea, K. Sawhney, S. Scott, M. Hillman, J. Grindrod, I. Johnson, Rev. Sci. Instr. 86, 125108 (2015)
DOI: 10.1063/1.4937352

Characterization of a next-generation piezo bimorph X-ray mirror for synchrotron beamlines”, S.G. Alcock et al. J. Synchrotron Rad. 22 (2015)
DOI: 10.1107/S1600577514020025

Bimorph mirrors: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”, S.G. Alcock, J.P. Sutter, K. Sawhney, D.R. Hall, K. McAuley, T. Sorensen, Nucl. Instr. And Meth. A 710 87–92 (2013)
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2012.10.135

The Diamond-NOM: a non-contact profiler capable of characterizing optical figure error with sub-nm repeatability”, S. G. Alcock et al. Nucl. Instr. and Meth. A 616, 2-3, 224-228 (2010)
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2009.10.137

"A preferential coating technique for fabricating large, high quality optics", S.G. Alcock, S.Cockerton, Nucl. Instr. and Meth. A 616, 2-3, 110-114 (2010)
DOI: 10.1016/j.nima.2009.10.097


After completing a PhD in X-ray surface diffraction and a MPhys degree in Physics at the University of Leicester, Simon joined Diamond full-time in Sept 2003 (he had earlier worked part-time for Diamond since 2002). Initially he provided scientific support to the Science Directors, before joining the Optics & Metrology group in 2005. He has since helped to design, build, and equip the Optics & Metrology cleanroom for characterising X-ray optics. In 2011, he also played a major role in designing and equiping the Precision Metrology Lab to test motorised stage used to rotate and translate important beamline components including X-ray optics, samples, and detectors.

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