Mar 19, 2018 | Updated: 09:54 AM EDT

Liquid Helium Absent Cooling System For SNSPD Developed By Scientists

May 28, 2017 06:56 PM EDT

Scientists from National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have formulated a novel hybrid system for cooling superconducting nanowire single photon detectors (SNSPD) that can be considered as fundamental devices for some sorts of forefront research. This is far littler than those already demonstrated by the scientists and that takes out the requirement for customary cryogens, for example, liquid helium.

According to, the applications of SNSPD's are huge. They are used in ultrasecure quantum communications, laser-based light detection and ranging (LIDAR), defect analysis of small scale integrated circuits and also few biological researches. An individual detector dimension is smaller than the width of human hair. Till now, it was the liquid helium that was used to achieve the required level of cooling.

From years, it was being researched, if there is any alternative for using liquid helium for achieving the level of cooling in SNSPD's. Now, the NIST scientists have successfully found a method, through which liquid helium can be removed, but still, the level of cooling for the SNSPD's will be achieved. The new method developed will be very different from the liquid helium systems.

Liquid helium systems are extremely costly, complicated, and large in size and these systems demand some considerable expertise for operating and maintaining safely. NIST reported that their scientists have developed a new prototype cooler, whose power demand is just 250 watts. The size is just 0.31m high and 0.61m long.

The new work regarding the elimination of liquid helium systems is a part of NIST's goal, i.e. invisible cryogenic systems development. The research work has been published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Applied Superconductivity. The project is still in process, and is being funded under a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) associated with a Michigan company named 'Quantum Opus'. The company is also expecting to eventually commercialize the technology developed under this project.

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