Cryogenic Optical Refrigeration

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Vibration Free, Compact, Robust and more ...

CryoRayTM coolers have the advantages of being the only solid-state refrigerator that can reach cryogenic temperatures, below 123 K (- 238F). CryoRay coolers are therefore uniquely well suited for cryogenic applications where zero vibration and/or high reliability are critical. Additionally, the compactness, low mass and ease of using CryoRay coolers make them ideal for many applications, especially for non-technical end users.

Many infrared cameras and focal plane arrays have to be cooled to perform well. The minimizing vibrations is very desirable for these devices. This is especially true for satellite-borne systems where even slight vibrations can cause intolerable image degradation. The absence of vibrations and the high reliability of CryoRay coolers make them ideal for many infrared applications.

High-purity germanium (HPGe) gamma-ray spectrometers can provide excellent energy resolution and are widely used to identify nuclear materials. These devices need to be cooled to at least 120 K to perform well. However, since even minor vibrations generate variable capacitance that significantly blurs the HPGe spectra, CryoRay coolers could provide a clear advantage.

There are other emerging applications where the complete lack of vibrations of optical refrigerators is an essential asset. For example, ultrastable resonant optical cavities being developed by Dr. Jun Yes group at NIST may be critical components in the most advanced precision metrology. These cavities use single-crystal Si that is cooled to 124 K, the temperature at which silicon has zero thermal expansion. To maintain stability it is crucial to eliminate or minimize vibrations. CryoRay coolers could make this type of cavity much more portable, compact, and robust.

There are many other areas of technology where CryoRay coolers could be valuable. Electron microscopy of cryogenically cooled samples requires vibration-free refrigeration. CryoRay coolers could cool these samples without generating even nanometers of jitter. Cold conventional electronics, such as low-noise amplifiers and high-temperature superconducting electronics could be made more useful if they were not shackled to the current cryogenic cooling technologies.

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