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New system to recover and reuse helium acquired by the Low Temperatures and Magnetometry Service at ICMAB

Christmas has arrived early this year at the Low Temperatures and Magnetometry Service at ICMAB. We have received these days two nice presents, which willl make a real difference at the Institute, especially regarding helium consumption!

Liquid helium is used at the Low Temperatures and Magnetometry Service in all the magnetometry measures, which are carried out at extremely low temperatures (approximately at -269 ºC (about 4 K)!). 

Once the liquid helium is used, it is lost in the atmosphere in its gaseous form, since it evaporates really quickly. The new equipment acquired at ICMAB, the ATL 160 (Quantum Design), will be used to recover the helium used in the experiments and to liquify it. Therefore, the lliquid helium will be available for its reuse in subsequent magnetometry measures.

This system will allow us to reduce the costs of the Service, since there will be no need (or a much lower need) to buy external supplies of liquid helium, since we will keep using the same one.

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The other equipment acquired is a new Physical Property Measurement System (PPMS) platform (Quantum Design), with variable temperature and variable magnetic field, to measure the electric and magnetic properties at low temperatures (2-400 K) and intense fields (0-90 kOe). This equipment will join the two PPMS that we already have in the Service.

About the Low Temperatures and Magnetometry Service

Many Research Lines in this institute rely on the magnetic and electric properties of the materials being investigated. Most of the characterization carried out requires the use of very precise measurement systems. In order to satisfy the intensive demand of measurements of this nature, the Low Temperature and Magnetometry Service, which is run by Bernat Bozzo, was created.

The Low Temperature and Magnetometry Service is part of the ICMAB Scientific Technical Services Unit and its facilities are available to all the research crew of the Institute, as well as, to external users. It is devoted to the measurement of the magnetic, electric properties under specific conditions of external magnetic field and temperature.

In order to achieve the demand, the Service is equipped with two SQUID based magnetometers (Quantum Design MPMS system), devoted to magnetometry measurements and two Quantum Design PPMS systems (now three, with the new acquisition), devoted to electrical transport measurements, as well as magnetometry measurements. Now the service will include a helium liquifier to recover and reuse the helium used in the measures. 

A User Commission supervises the proper operation of the Service and meets twice a year in order to satisfy this supervision task as well as to take the appropriate decisions for the optimization of the Service operation.

 

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