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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/V000705/1
Title: Enabling the next generation of millikelvin cryocooler.
Principal Investigator: Smith, Professor A
Other Investigators:
Bartlett, Dr J
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Mullard Space Science Laboratory
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 September 2020 Ends: 31 May 2022 Value (£): 620,917
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Instrumentation Eng. & Dev. Microsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Manufacturing Transport Systems and Vehicles
Electronics
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
10 Jun 2020 Engineering Prioritisation Panel Meeting 10 and 11 June 2020 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
This grant application seeks to advance our current state-of-the-art sub-Kelvin millikelvin cryocooler.

Cryogenics is an enabling technology and sub-Kelvin cooling is required for many advanced technologies under development, e.g. Imagers using single photon detectors and quantum technologies. Applications of these technologies range from medical and security to computing and communications. Historically, cryogenic systems have been large (sometimes room-sized) and cumbersome and require specialist knowledge to operate, which is prohibitive to the development of these new and advanced technologies. Our focus is to remove such limitations and open up the field of ultra-low temperatures to non-Cryogenic specialists in both academia and industry. Through EPSRC funding, the Cryogenics group at MSSL/UCL have built the first fully autonomous, cryogen-free, easy-to-use, low mass (< 5 kg), compact and continuous millikelvin cryocooler, which is capable of providing continuous cooling at any temperature between 0.85 and 4 Kelvin at the press of a button - no specialist knowledge is required to operate it. We propose to build on this success and perform targeted component level research and development to address fundamental heat transfer processes through a combination of computer modelling, experimental investigation, materials development and engineering as well as develop bespoke electronics hardware. Our aim is that this research will benefit not only our research, but a wide-range of other disciplines. This research will significantly improve and advance our millikelvin cryocooler, enabling a base temperature of 0.3 Kelvin to be obtained when operated from 4 Kelvin and below 0.1 Kelvin to be obtained when pre-cooled to below 2 Kelvin, which is required for the technologies mentioned above (2 Kelvin can be provided by either a 2nd millikelvin cryocooler or a commercially available sub-2 Kelvin cooler). Such development will keep the UK at the forefront of millikelvin cryogenic cooling, whilst enabling the wider application and commercialisation of new cryogenic technologies both in the UK and internationally.

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