Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The Coldest Chip in the World

20.12.2017

Physicists at the University of Basel have succeeded in cooling a nanoelectronic chip to a temperature lower than 3 millikelvin. The scientists from the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute set this record in collaboration with colleagues from Germany and Finland. They used magnetic cooling to cool the electrical connections as well as the chip itself. The results were published in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

Even scientists like to compete for records, which is why numerous working groups worldwide are using high-tech refrigerators to reach temperatures as close to absolute zero as possible. Absolute zero is 0 kelvin or -273.15°C.


A chip with a Coulomb blockade thermometer on it is prepared for experiments at extremely low temperatures.

(University of Basel, Department of Physics)

Physicists aim to cool their equipment to as close to absolute zero as possible, because these extremely low temperatures offer the ideal conditions for quantum experiments and allow entirely new physical phenomena to be examined.

Cooling by turning off a magnetic field

The group led by Basel physicist Professor Dominik Zumbühl had previously suggested utilizing the principle of magnetic cooling in nanoelectronics in order to cool nanoelectronic devices to unprecedented temperatures close to absolute zero. Magnetic cooling is based on the fact that a system can cool down when an applied magnetic field is ramped down while any external heat flow is avoided. Before ramping down, the heat of magnetization needs to be removed with another method to obtain efficient magnetic cooling.

A successful combination

This is how Zumbühl’s team succeeded in cooling a nanoelectronic chip to a temperature below 2.8 millikelvin, thereby achieving a new low temperature record. Dr Mario Palma, lead author of the study, and his colleague Christian Scheller successfully used a combination of two cooling systems, both of which were based on magnetic cooling. They cooled all of the chip’s electrical connections to temperatures of 150 microkelvin – a temperature that is less than a thousandth of a degree away from absolute zero.

They then integrated a second cooling system directly into the chip itself, and also placed a Coulomb blockade thermometer on it. The construction and the material composition enabled them to magnetically cool this thermometer to a temperature almost as low as absolute zero as well.

“The combination of cooling systems allowed us to cool our chip down to below 3 millikelvin, and we are optimistic than we can use the same method to reach the magic 1 millikelvin limit,” says Zumbühl. It is also remarkable that the scientists are in a position to maintain these extremely low temperatures for a period of seven hours. This provides enough time to conduct various experiments that will help to understand the properties of physics close to absolute zero.

Original source

M. Palma, C. P. Scheller, D. Maradan, A. V. Feshchenko, M. Meschke, and D. M. Zumbühl
On-and-off chip cooling of a Coulomb blockade thermometer down to 2.8 mK
Applied Physics Letters (2017), doi: 10.1063/1.5002565

Further information

Professor Dominik Zumbühl, University of Basel, Department of Physics, tel. +41 61 207 36 93, email: dominik.zumbuhl@unibas.ch

Weitere Informationen:

https://www.unibas.ch/en/News-Events/News/Uni-Research/The-coldest-chip-in-the-w...

Cornelia Niggli | Universität Basel

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials
17.01.2018 | Universität des Saarlandes

nachricht Black hole spin cranks-up radio volume
15.01.2018 | National Institutes of Natural Sciences

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists decipher key principle behind reaction of metalloenzymes

So-called pre-distorted states accelerate photochemical reactions too

What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...

Im Focus: The first precise measurement of a single molecule's effective charge

For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.

Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...

Im Focus: Paradigm shift in Paris: Encouraging an holistic view of laser machining

At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.

No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...

Im Focus: Room-temperature multiferroic thin films and their properties

Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.

Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...

Im Focus: A thermometer for the oceans

Measurement of noble gases in Antarctic ice cores

The oceans are the largest global heat reservoir. As a result of man-made global warming, the temperature in the global climate system increases; around 90% of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

10th International Symposium: “Advanced Battery Power – Kraftwerk Batterie” Münster, 10-11 April 2018

08.01.2018 | Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gran Chaco: Biodiversity at High Risk

17.01.2018 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Only an atom thick: Physicists succeed in measuring mechanical properties of 2D monolayer materials

17.01.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Fraunhofer HHI receives AIS Technology Innovation Award 2018 for 3D Human Body Reconstruction

17.01.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>