Cooling and instrumentation lab
The performance of electronic devices can often be improved by lowering the operating temperature resulting in lower noise and larger speed. Also, new phenomena can be applied at low temperatures, as for instance superconductivity. In order to fully exploit low-temperature electronics, the cryogenic system (cooler plus interface) should be ‘invisible’ to the user. It should be small, low-cost, low-interference, and above all very reliable (long-life). The realization of cryogenic systems fulfilling these requirements is one of the topics of research in EMS. Testing of these systems take place in the instrumentation and cooling lab that is fully equipped for this purpose. The lab is located on the 1st floor of the Carre building in room (CR1055). An impression of the lab is given below.
Cryogenic coolers are operated in a vacuum environment. Therefore, several vacuum chambers and dry turbo pumps are available in lab. We also have a very sensitive rest gas analysis (RGA) system.
For the tests a lot of measurement equipment is available, such as cryogenic temperature controllers and sensors, pressure and mass-flow controllers and meters, and read-out electronics. Often, the data acquisition is done in Labview.
In most projects, experiments are done with custom made test facilities, especially designed for that project.
In the lab, various commercial cryogenic coolers are available. For example, these coolers are used for measuring material properties at cryogenic temperature or as precooling stage. We have 1 mixed-refrigerant JT cooler system (Cryotiger), 3 Gifford Mc Mahon coolers, a Cryomech pulse-tube cooler and different Thales Stirling coolers in the lab.
Very high pressures of up to 100 bar are used in several experiments. Also, self made Joule-Thomson coolers are operated with hydrogen. Therefore, the lab is equipped with a hydrogen gas detection system. High pressure reducers, Swagelok and VCR tubing and fittings are used in the set-ups.