Cryogen Free Instrument Will Facilitate the Development of New Materials

Oxford Instruments is proud to have delivered the world’s first integrated Cryofree® dilution refrigerator with a 12T superconducting magnet. This system operates without liquid helium and only uses a single pulse tube refrigerator. It offers the unique ability to control temperatures from below 10 mK to 30K and magnetic fields up to 12T on the same instrument without any external manipulation of the sample environment.

This is a breakthrough for applications such as neutron scattering where sample alignment is paramount. Having a single piece of equipment saves experimental space and time and will bring new research capabilities. For many families of novel materials, tracking phenomena such as spin ordering and antiferromagnetism over wide temperature ranges in a magnetic field is key to understanding their intrinsic behaviour. This tool holds great promise for the development of future new materials.

Dr Michael Cuthbert, Business unit manager for the Ultra Low Temperature (ULT) products, commented: "The performance of the system through its test programme has been outstanding with temperatures below 10 mK achieved with the magnet at 12T central field, with an ultimate base temperature of 8 mK achieved in zero field. One of the many challenges in building this system was not only to provide the lowest possible temperature coupled with the 12 T field, but also temperature control up to 30K on the sample holder with the magnet at full field. With careful engineering, over four decades of temperature control was achieved keeping the applied field of 12T. The magnet cooling stage remains stable below 3.5 K throughout the controlled temperature regime with sample stage temperature stability within a fraction of 1% of set point across the entire range."

This achievement was facilitated by the considerable experience Oxford Instruments has gained over the last six months in building Cryofree dilution refrigerators, resulting in more than twenty systems being shipped over the last six months.

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