Cryogenics Laboratory

The “Cryogenics Laboratory” belongs to the Lisbon pole of LIBPHYS. It is located in the Physics Department of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology (Universidade Nova de Lisboa). 


This laboratory started in 2002 by studies on orientation effects in low frequency Pulse Tube cryocoolers. Thanks to this work, the laboratory was contracted by the CAMCAO project (FC-UL) to build an orientable Pulse Tube cryocooler for ESO (European Southern Observatory). Since 2006, our activities are focused on low temperature heat switches (3 Master theses), one especially developed  for thermal management of Cryofree system (FCT contract), “Energy Storage Units” in the 3-100 K range(Eur opean Space Agency and FCT contracts, three PhD Theses) and on adsorption studies at low temperature (10-500 K/ 1 mbar-100 bar, FCT contracts, two Master thesis). We are from 2015 envolved with the construction for ESA of a Vibration-free cooler (0.5 W @ 40-80 K) using adsorption and Joule-Thomson expansions.


♦ Low Temperature Cell of the Energy Storage Unit working with Liquid Hydrogen between 15K and 16 K. (PhD thesis)

♦  Low temperature cell for thermal conductivity measurements of porous copper in the 15-300K temperature range (Master thesis).

Thank to our quite multipurpose equipment, some new topics are developed without external funding. The mixture of N2 with Neon was studied in the 25K-80K temperature range (Master thesis). More recently, was developed a system to measure the thermal conductivity of highly conducting material and this experimental set-up was tested by measuring the thermal conductivity of highly porous copper (Master thesis).  


♦ Gas Gap Heat switch before soldering process (Master Thesis)♦ Special mounting of 3 Platinum thermometers for katharometer (part of Master thesis)

 Our cold sources are

- A cryocooler with minimum temperature about 2.6K (1 W @ 4 K)
- Two cryocoolers (Tmin = 8 K, 2 W @ 20 K), especially dedicated to Energy Storage Units at system level for space applications. One is installed on a rotating support to test our systems in various orientations in respect to gravity. 

 ♦ The new 10 K cryocooler with large experimental space. Presently used for the tests of the Engineering Model of the ESU-Hydrogen (Final part of the ESA project). ♦ The 10 K cryocooler on rotating stand. Presently used for thermal conductiviry measurements.


Low temperature cell mounting! (youtube)


If you want to work or collaborate with us: feel free to contact us!
Grégoire Bonfait (head of Cryogenic Laboratory): 

or any other member of the Lab of Cryogenics




 We are always ready to show to young (and less young!) people some beautiful phenomena occuring in the low temperature world.