The CRYOMAT platform will be a reference platform for the region Ile de France and will be dedicated to the characterization of materials at sub-Kelvin temperatures (thermal conductivity, heat capacity, contact thermal resistance, electrical conductivity, complexe impedance, thermal expansion, Young modulus). CRYOMAT will be open both to scientific laboratories and industries. CRYOMAT will rely on the existing skills of the technical and scientific teams of the APC laboratory, who are internationally recognized with their experience in cryogenics systems (Jean-Pierre Thermeau) and cryogenic instrumentation (Michel Piat). The LNE-CNAM partner laboratory will guarantee the highest level of accuracy of the metrological measurements and the test quality control.
CRYOMAT will include three different kinds of test systems installed in cryostats, each one dedicated to mechanical, electrical and thermal tests, respectively. The first step in the project is a prototype, the NG-Cryo cryostat funded by the CNRS/IN2P3. The NG-Cryo project includes a versatile cryostat designed to operate at temperatures of 3-40K for thermal measurements. Currently, the APC has means of refrigeration at 250 mK, 300 mK and 1 K requiring regeneration phases. This NG-Cryo prototype cryostat is dedicated to the development of continuous refrigeration at temperatures less than 50 mK which is the object of the Ph.D. thesis funded by the company MyCryoFirm. This cryostat will be used as a basis to build the first cryostat of the CRYOMAT platform, the cryostat dedicated to thermal measurements at sub-K temperatures (thermal conductivity and heat capacity).
Based on the experience from the development of this first cryostat, two other two cryostats will be designed, one for mechanical property measurements (mechanical dilatation, Young modulus, using ultrasound methods) and the other for contact thermal resistance measurements. The electrical characterizations of materials at cryogenic temperatures (electrical conductivity, complexe impedance) will be done using a commercial cryogenic probe station that will be improved to go to sub-K temperatures. These cryostats are of particular interest to our partner industries (EQUIUM, MyCryoFirm, Chipiron) to test medical instrument components and refrigeration systems for quantum computing, for all of which refrigeration capacity at very low temperatures is a major issue. The platform is also interest of our closed academic collaborators: CNRS / INSU / IAS, Observatoire de Paris / GEPI, CEA / Irfu / DIS.
The measurements performed with the platform will have a strong impact in the field of material property measurements at sub-K temperatures, for which we do not have public databases. We will share the results of our measurements of the physical properties of materials in the cryogenic domain with the astrophysical and larger scientific community through scientific articles, but also through a database open to all the scientific community.