The milli-Kelvin Challenge

enabling fundamental reserach near absolute zero

Recent advances in various branches of solid state physics have led to a growing interest in performing quantum optics, quantum opto-mechanics, scanning probe microscopy (SPM) and angle-dependent magneto-transport measurements in the sub-100 mK regime, where many emergent phenomena reside. The quest for elucidation of the latter has spurred the interest in dilution refrigerators (DRs). Recent surge in funding for quantum computing has only boosted this interest further.

Milli-Kelvin measurements have been established for ~60 years, especially for electrical transport. However, even without any moving parts, such experiments are extremely delicate due to limited cooling power, long cooling cycles, and used to require comprehensive know-how in handling the accompanying complex setups.

Yet, over the last decade, closed-cycle (so-called dry) DRs have become the de facto standard for ultra low-temperature applications, effectively replacing their liquid counterparts.

This has facilitated their spread due to the much improved ease-of-use through automation and independence on liquid helium. However, sensitive experiments involving nanopositioning of tips and samples have become even more challenging due to the vibrations induced by the cold heads of the pulse tube coolers which provide precooling in two stages down to 40 K and 4 K.

Therefore, while the cooling to ultra-low temperatures itself has become readily available, delicate experiments such as SPM are still extremely challenging. attocube has gained substantial experience with LT-SPM over the last 20 years, and is able to offer expert service on all levels: 30% of our employees hold a PhD in a scientific field related to our customers’ research. As a result, everyone in our sales team, project leaders in production, and our after-sales support team are dedicated to understand your applications, and to help you achieve your scientific goals utilizing our technology.

Based on the details of the desired application and its technical requirements, attocube offers to support customers on three different levels: single components, mK-ready modules or a complete platform integration including the dilution refrigerator.

attocube is your reliable partner in enabling fundamental research near absolute zero. 

Components & Modules for mK Experiments

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Customers who prefer to build their own mK experiments from scratch can choose from various mK-compatible nanopositioners with proven performance to suit their special requirements. attocube supports these efforts by providing special materials, 3D CAD models, and thermal links.

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mK-ready Modules

For customers looking for mK-ready microscopes, which they intend to integrate themselves into their dilution refrigerator, attocube offers dedicated mK modules with suitable mechanical, geometrical and thermal interfaces. To ensure compatibility, an experienced project leader will take over all required communication with the customer and the DR supplier. Factory tests of the module will be conducted in a convential 4K cryostat.

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Platform Integration

Based on our experience with several lighthouse projects in collaboration with leading scientists, attocube also offers integration and delivery of complete systems comprising DR, microscope and all accessories. Comprehensive project management will be conducted by an experienced project leader, including all planning, production, factory testing, on-site installation and training. The availability of this option may depend on the details of DR, SPM technique, and desired application.

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Selected mK customer publications

enabling scientific impact

business sectors, cryogenic instruments, magazine

More Information

Technical Background for mK Setups >

Effects of resistive wiring, power dissipation and leakage currents.

Platforms for mK Reserach >

Background information on dilution refrigerators with top- or bottoloading probe.

mK Brochure >

Detailed information on components, modules and integration possiblities for research applications near absolute zero.

mK Strategic Partners >

attocube collaborates with leading suppliers to help pushing boundaries in milli-Kelvin applications.