Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Laser cooling of solids for sensitive sensors

Date:
May 17, 2010
Source:
Optical Society of America
Summary:
The sensors that allow satellites to take measurements are happiest when cold. Mechanical pumps onboard keep sensors' semiconductor elements at temperatures hundreds of degrees below zero. But these cryogenic pumps also produce noisy vibrations that interfere with the collection of data by the sensitive sensors. Researchers are developing a technique to cool semiconductors loads that would use a vibration-free solid-state technology.

The sensors that allow satellites to take measurements are happiest when cold. Mechanical pumps onboard keep sensors' semiconductor elements at temperatures hundreds of degrees below zero. But these cryogenic pumps also produce noisy vibrations that interfere with the collection of data by the sensitive sensors.

Mansoor Sheik-Bahae of the University of New Mexico and colleagues are developing a technique to cool semiconductors loads that would use a vibration-free solid-state technology: laser cooling, which has traditionally been used to lower the temperature of dilute gases but can also cool transparent solids doped with rare-earth ions by kicking out energetic photons (or fluorescence up conversion). In January the group set a record by cooling a crystal down to 155 Kelvin, research published in Nature Photonics. At the upcoming CLEO meeting, Denis Seletskiy, the lead author and a senior graduate student from the group, will describe a new experiment in which the temperature of a GaAs semiconductor load was lowered down to 165 Kelvin, a useful temperature for some kinds of detectors.

"This is the only solid-state technology that can reach these temperatures, the coldest that any semiconductor has gotten without the use of cryogens and/or mechanical coolers," says Sheik-Bahae.

In addition to cutting down on vibrations, this optical refrigeration technique offers a number of other technical advantages. The laser could be guided through an optical fiber to a lightweight cooling head convenient for sensors mounted on delicate gimbals. It could also be used to selectively cool tiny areas of components much too small for other cooling technologies to selectively target.

"Our goal is to try to get colder and colder, to get to 123 Kelvin -- the NIST-defined standard for cryogenic -- and then next to 77 Kelvin, the boiling temperature of liquid nitrogen," says Sheik-Bahae. "With the right laser and the right power, we know we can get to 120 Kelvin."

"The U.S. military is interested in applying this new research," says Sheik-Bahae. "This is quite exciting as this is a young field and more research still remains to be done in parallel to transitioning the mature components to industry. In the long term, the application of this technology to cool superconducting devices is also extremely tantalizing."

The work is being reported at the 2010 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference (CLEO/QELS) May 16-21 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., where researchers from around the world are presenting the latest breakthroughs in electro-optics, innovative developments in laser science, and commercial applications in photonics.

Presentation: "Laser Cooling of a Semiconductor Load to 165 K" by Denis Seletskiy et al is at 10:15 a.m. Friday, May 21.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Optical Society of America. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Optical Society of America. "Laser cooling of solids for sensitive sensors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100511143414.htm>.
Optical Society of America. (2010, May 17). Laser cooling of solids for sensitive sensors. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100511143414.htm
Optical Society of America. "Laser cooling of solids for sensitive sensors." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100511143414.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

Virtual Reality Headsets Unveiled at Tokyo Game Show

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Several companies unveiled virtual reality headsets at the Tokyo Game Show, Asia's largest digital entertainment exhibition. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Apple's iOS8 Includes New 'Killswitch' To Curb Theft

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple's new operating system, iOS 8, comes with Apple's killswitch feature already activated, unlike all the models before it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

Stocks Hit All-Time High as Fed Holds Steady

AP (Sep. 17, 2014) The Federal Reserve signaled Wednesday that it plans to keep a key interest rate at a record low because a broad range of U.S. economic measures remain subpar. Stocks hit an all-time high on the news. (Sept. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Space Race Pits Bezos Vs Musk

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 16, 2014) Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos' startup will team up with Boeing and Lockheed to develop rocket engines as Elon Musk races to have his rockets certified. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins