Monday, June 17, 2024

Spin Supersolid Achieves Ultra-Cold Temperatures Amid Helium Shortage

- Advertisement -

This material demonstrated the ability to cool down to below 1 Kelvin, a critical temperature range for advanced technologies such as quantum computing.

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in collaboration with Beihang University’s School of Physics and the Institut Laue-Langevin’s Jülich Centre for Neutron Science in France have discovered a cobalt-based quantum magnetic  material, Na2BaCo(PO4)2, capable of achieving ultra-low temperatures. This could have important implications for China, which currently depends heavily on imported helium for cooling in high-tech applications.

The material has a specific arrangement of atoms and magnetic properties that make it a candidate for hosting the ‘spin supersolid state’. The spin super solid materials show magnetocaloric effect, which refers to a change in temperature resulting from changing the magnetic field in certain materials.

- Advertisement -

The study theoretically demonstrates the potential for achieving extremely low temperatures without relying on helium. It demonstrated the ability to cool down to below 1 Kelvin, a critical temperature range for advanced technologies such as quantum computing.

Helium-3 isotope, has been a standard coolant in technologies requiring extreme cold, including medical equipment and space exploration. Helium-3 is particularly effective for extreme cooling and is primarily sourced from ageing nuclear warheads. In 2022, China imported 94% of its helium needs, mostly from Qatar, the United States, and Australia, and relies almost entirely on Russia and the United States for helium-3.

Given the scarcity and high demand for helium, particularly helium-3, the team pursued a solid material that could facilitate significant energy changes through state changes. Very few scientists worldwide are exploring solid-state materials for ultra-cold temperatures. Thermodynamically, ultra-low temperatures are defined as those between 0 and 4.2 Kelvin, with absolute zero at -273 degrees Celsius (0 Kelvin or -459 Fahrenheit).

This research is still in its initial stages and the material has its limitations, such as the need for an environment already at about 4 Kelvin. Therefore, it is not yet a complete alternative to helium. This remains a pressing issue for China as it progresses in the field of quantum technology, especially considering the geopolitical tensions over technology and the scarcity of helium, particularly helium-3.

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS & COMMENTS

Unique DIY Projects

Electronics News

Truly Innovative Tech

MOst Popular Videos

Electronics Components

Calculators