• silicon crystal;
  • X-ray monochromator;
  • cryogenic cooling;
  • liquid nitrogen;
  • thermal deformation;
  • finite element;
  • heat load experiment;
  • rocking curve;
  • in situ metrology

X-ray crystal monochromators exposed to white-beam X-rays in third-generation synchrotron light sources are subject to thermal deformations that must be minimized using an adequate cooling system. A new approach was used to measure the crystal shape profile and slope of several cryogenically cooled (liquid nitrogen) silicon monochromators as a function of beam power in situ and under heat load. The method utilizes multiple angular scans across the Bragg peak (rocking curve) at various vertical positions of a narrow-gap slit downstream from the monochromator. When increasing the beam power, the surface of the liquid-nitrogen-cooled silicon crystal deforms from a concave shape at low heat load to a convex shape at high heat load, passing through an approximately flat shape at intermediate heat load. Finite-element analysis is used to calculate the crystal thermal deformations. The simulated crystal profiles and slopes are in excellent agreement with experiments. The parameters used in simulations, such as material properties, absorbed power distribution on the crystal and cooling boundary conditions, are described in detail as they are fundamental for obtaining accurate results.