Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Revolutionary cooling system uses lasers

Date:
January 30, 2013
Source:
Nanyang Technological University
Summary:
Bulky and noisy air-conditioning compressors and refrigerators may soon be a thing of the past. Current cooling systems which uses refrigerant harmful to the ozone layer could be replaced by a revolutionary cooling system using lasers.

Semiconductor material, Cadmium Sulfide, being cooled using a laser beam in Prof Xiong Qihua's experiment.
Credit: Image courtesy of Nanyang Technological University

With the latest discovery by scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU), current cooling systems which uses refrigerant harmful to the ozone layer could be replaced by a revolutionary cooling system using lasers.

Related Articles


This discovery, published and featured on the cover of the 24 January 2013 issue of Nature, could also potentially lead to a host of other innovations. This includes making huge Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) machines, unwieldy night vision goggles and satellite cameras -- all of which require extreme cooling systems -- even more compact and energy saving.

This breakthrough in laser cooling technology can even lead to the development of almost sci-fi like computer chips that cool on their own, minimising heat and thus prolonging battery life for portable devices like tablets and smart phones.

Assistant Professor Xiong Qihua from the School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences and the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering had cooled down a semiconductor from 20 degrees Celsius down to minus 20 degrees Celsius. Before this, the cooling of semiconductors by laser has never been proven.

The material, Cadmium Sulfide, is a type of group II-VI semiconductor commonly used in solar cells, sensors and electronics.

"If we are able to harness the power of laser cooling, it would mean that medical devices which require extreme cooling, such as MRI which uses liquid helium, could do away with their bulky refrigerant systems with just with an optical refrigeration device in its place," Prof Xiong said.

"Not only that, but it would also remove the need for compressors and coolants in air-conditioning and refrigerators used in our homes and automobiles, saving space, energy and green house gases which are harmful to our ozone layer.

The potential for a compact, cost-effective, vibration-free and cryogen-less cooling system is enormous, as the global market for energy-efficient buildings is estimated to be worth over $100 billion dollars by 2017, according to reports by Global Industry Analysts (GIA).

"This also translates into the ability to build miniaturised coolers to cool infrared sensors used in satellites for imaging and build self-cooling computer chips suitable for use in portable devices like tablets and smart phones."

Prof Xiong, who leads a research team of 25 people including three undergraduates, is now looking to bring laser cooling down to liquid helium temperature at minus 269 degree Celsius. This is because in principle and theory, semiconductors can support laser cooling down to such a low temperatures.

"Our initial results published in Nature, have shown that it is possible to laser-cool a semiconductor to liquid nitrogen temperature, so we are aiming to reach an even lower temperature, such as that of liquid helium," said Prof Xiong, who had directed the research efforts of his researchers Dr. Zhang Jun and Ph.D. student Li Dehui towards this new area.

This experiment which took three years to complete was funded by NTU, Prof Xiong's National Research Foundation Fellowship grant and the Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund.

NTU's ground-breaking research into fundamental physics and sciences is one of the key components in Sustainability, one of the university's Five Peaks of Excellence, areas of research which NTU hopes to make a global mark in under its five-year strategic plan.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Nanyang Technological University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Jun Zhang, Dehui Li, Renjie Chen, Qihua Xiong. Laser cooling of a semiconductor by 40 kelvin. Nature, 2013; 493 (7433): 504 DOI: 10.1038/nature11721

Cite This Page:

Nanyang Technological University. "Revolutionary cooling system uses lasers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130101932.htm>.
Nanyang Technological University. (2013, January 30). Revolutionary cooling system uses lasers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130101932.htm
Nanyang Technological University. "Revolutionary cooling system uses lasers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130130101932.htm (accessed October 24, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Real-Life Transformer Robot Walks, Then Folds Into a Car

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) Brave Robotics and Asratec teamed with original Transformers toy company Tomy to create a functional 5-foot-tall humanoid robot that can march and fold itself into a 3-foot-long sports car. Jen Markham has the story. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

Police Testing New Gunfire Tracking Technology

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) A California-based startup has designed new law enforcement technology that aims to automatically alert dispatch when an officer's gun is unholstered and fired. Two law enforcement agencies are currently testing the technology. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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