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.

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 July 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 July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee 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