UCL Department of Space and Climate Physics


Cryogenics Facilities

The group has two well equipped laboratories containing:

  • Two liquid helium based adiabatic demagnetisation refrigerators (ADR) which provide temperatures from 40mK to 4K. 
  • One of the ADRs has a 2 Tesla magnet installed in the sample test space for the investigation of the sample in a magnetic field.  The sample can be investigated in-situ from 40 mK to 4 K with a magnetic field of up to 2 Tesla.

One of our ADR work stations:

One of our ADR work stations
  • Several liquid helium cryostats.
  • Several pulse tube cooled cryostats. These provide cryogen free and rapid cooling from room temperature to 4 K in 2 hours.
  • Equipment for the measurement of electrical resistivity at liquid helium temperature and residual resistance ratio (RRR) a key measure of the quality of metals.
  • Numerous thermometer readout electronics (AVS47 bridges) and temperature controllers.
  • Our own liquid helium and nitrogen storage dewars.

Eddy currents in a tungsten magnetoresitive heat switch:

  • The engineering model ESA flight ADR (manufactured by the group for ESA in association with Astrium) on loan from ESA. This system has a base temperature of 25 mK and is used for the testing of components in a flight representative ADR as part of our space cooler programme. 

In addition we have:

Eddy currents in a tungsten magnetoresitive heat switch
  • Opera 2d and 3d finite element electromagnetic modelling software.  This we use for the modelling of magnetic fields from  solenoid magnets (as used in our ADRs), eddy current heating, and simple 3d  thermal modelling (for more advanced applications we develop our own mathematical thermal models to aid design).
  • In house ADR mathematical models developed by the group as a design tool in order to accurately predict the performance of ADRs under design or operation in new configurations.