Navigation Links
NIST quantum refrigerator offers extreme cooling and convenience
Date:3/8/2013

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a solid-state refrigerator that uses quantum physics in micro- and nanostructures to cool a much larger object to extremely low temperatures.

What's more, the prototype NIST refrigerator, which measures a few inches in outer dimensions, enables researchers to place any suitable object in the cooling zone and later remove and replace it, similar to an all-purpose kitchen refrigerator. The cooling power is the equivalent of a window-mounted air conditioner cooling a building the size of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.

"It's one of the most flabbergasting results I've seen," project leader Joel Ullom says. "We used quantum mechanics in a nanostructure to cool a block of copper. The copper is about a million times heavier than the refrigerating elements. This is a rare example of a nano- or microelectromechanical machine that can manipulate the macroscopic world."

The technology may offer a compact, convenient means of chilling advanced sensors below standard cryogenic temperatures300 milliKelvin (mK), typically achieved by use of liquid heliumto enhance their performance in quantum information systems, telescope cameras, and searches for mysterious dark matter and dark energy.

As described in Applied Physics Letters,* the NIST refrigerator's cooling elements, consisting of 48 tiny sandwiches of specific materials, chilled a plate of copper, 2.5 centimeters on a side and 3 millimeters thick, from 290 mK to 256 mK. The cooling process took about 18 hours. NIST researchers expect that minor improvements will enable faster and further cooling to about 100 mK.

The cooling elements are sandwiches of a normal metal, a 1-nanometer-thick insulating layer, and a superconducting metal. When a voltage is applied, the hottest electrons "tunnel" from the normal metal through the insulator to the superconductor. The temperature in the normal metal drops dramatically and drains electronic and vibrational energy from the object being cooled.

NIST researchers previously demonstrated this basic cooling method** but are now able to cool larger objects that can be easily attached and removed. Researchers developed a micromachining process to attach the cooling elements to the copper plate, which is designed to be a stage on which other objects can be attached and cooled. Additional advances include better thermal isolation of the stage, which is suspended by strong, cold-tolerant cords.

Cooling to temperatures below 300 mK currently requires complex, large and costly apparatus. NIST researchers want to build simple, compact alternatives to make it easier to cool NIST's advanced sensors. Researchers plan to boost the cooling power of the prototype refrigerator by adding more and higher-efficiency superconducting junctions and building a more rigid support structure.


'/>"/>

Contact: Laura Ost
laura.ost@nist.gov
303-497-4880
National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. UCSB physicists make discovery in the quantum realm
2. Quantum Cures Announces Breakthrough Approach for Researchers Seeking Cures for Orphan and Rare Diseases
3. Connecting the (quantum) dots
4. NREL and partners demonstrate quantum dots that assemble themselves
5. Quantum devices: Building an innovative future for Canada
6. A quantum dot energy harvester
7. Quantum Materials Corporation Announces Non-Heavy Metal (Cadmium-Free) Tetrapod Quantum Dots
8. Invisible tool enables new quantum experiments
9. Using single quantum dots to probe nanowires
10. Revolutionary Tetrapod Quantum Dot Synthesis US Patent Granted
11. Lava dots: Rice makes hollow, soft-shelled quantum dots
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
NIST quantum refrigerator offers extreme cooling and convenience
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... 23, 2017 , ... The Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA), ... Association (UAA), the unifying voice for collegiate aviation education, are launching a joint ... and success through a STEM-based education platform. , Much like the program currently ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 22, 2017 , ... ... global health leaders in designating infertility as a disease, bringing new hope for ... week at their 2017 annual meeting to back the World Health Organization’s designation ...
(Date:6/22/2017)... Lawrence, MA (PRWEB) , ... June 22, 2017 , ... ... completed ILVO validation. The AMPH test was determined to be appropriate as a screening ... for visual interpretation, on the Charm EZ system, and the Charm EZ Lite system. ...
(Date:6/20/2017)... ... June 20, 2017 , ... National executive search firm, Slone ... assay development and biomarker expertise, as VP of Scientific Affairs at Cambridge Biomedical. ... bio-analytical assay development and sample testing services. The organization acts as a leading ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/6/2017)... , April 6, 2017 ... RFID, ANPR, Document Readers, by End-Use (Transportation & Logistics, ... Facility, Oil, Gas & Fossil Generation Facility, Nuclear Power), ... Educational, Other) Are you looking for a ... sector? ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... Today HYPR Corp. , leading innovator ... of the HYPR platform is officially FIDO® Certified ... architecture that empowers biometric authentication across Fortune 500 enterprises ... over 15 million users across the financial services industry, ... product suites and physical access represent a growing portion ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... , April 4, 2017   EyeLock LLC , ... that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ... covers the linking of an iris image with a ... and represents the company,s 45 th issued patent. ... is very timely given the multi-modal biometric capabilities that ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):