• synchrotron optics;
  • carbon contamination;
  • low-pressure RF plasma;
  • X-ray photoemission spectroscopy;
  • optical emission spectroscopy;
  • interference microscopy

Although the graphitic carbon contamination of synchrotron beamline optics has been an obvious problem for several decades, the basic mechanisms underlying the contamination process as well as the cleaning/remediation strategies are not understood and the corresponding cleaning procedures are still under development. In this study an analysis of remediation strategies all based on in situ low-pressure RF plasma cleaning approaches is reported, including a quantitative determination of the optimum process parameters and their influence on the chemistry as well as the morphology of optical test surfaces. It appears that optimum results are obtained for a specific pressure range as well as for specific combinations of the plasma feedstock gases, the latter depending on the chemical aspects of the optical surfaces to be cleaned.