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 21, 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 21, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
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