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  • Writer's pictureKhoa Pham

The Future of Cryogenics: ZPC in Physics Today Magazine!

We are honoured to share our thoughts about what the future holds in cryogenics in the January 2024 edition of the American Institute of Physics’ Physics Today magazine. Written by ZPC Co-Founder and CTO, Dr. John P. Davis, he shares his viewpoint of the industry and why Zero Point Cryogenics is focused so heavily on innovation. Read below and check us out in your copy of Physics Today on page 1, Volume 77 Issue 1, January 2024!

Innovations in Cryogenics

For more than two decades, since my grad school days at Northwestern University, I have been captivated by the beauty and elegance of low-temperature physics. Now in Canada as a professor at the University of Alberta in Edmonton and a cofounder and chief technology officer of Zero Point Cryogenics (ZPC), I continue to be amazed by the advances of quantum technology and condensed-matter physics at low temperatures. The driving force behind many of those developments is the capabilities afforded by modern cryogenics, such as dilution refrigerators.

Yet despite significant improvements, dilution refrigerators remain finicky to operate, have reliability problems, and are time-consuming for academic and industry labs alike. In my lab at the university, I own dilution refrigerators from almost every provider on the market, and they all require countless hours of expert technicians to maintain.

ZPC was founded in 2017 with the mission to make the world’s best and most reliable dilution refrigerators so they can be a straightforward tool to aid in quantum R&D rather than the focus of effort in the laboratory. For example, what if the still and return lines of your dilution refrigerator were made with all-metal seals, such that you would never lose precious helium-3 from a failed O-ring? What if the joints were never exposed to soft solder flux and thus would prevent leaks from developing over time? What if you never needed to fill a liquid-nitrogen cold trap again because it was smartly integrated into the fridge? Those are the kinds of advances we have already made at ZPC, with many more on the horizon.

Our vision at ZPC is to become the premier choice for cryogenic solutions in both academia and industry. One way we are moving to fulfill that is by improving the footprint of our systems. We envision a day when thousands of dilution refrigerators will fill quantum computing data warehouses, and we are designing our systems today around that future. Similarly, we are advancing the state of the art in vibration isolation so that sensitive academic experiments can operate with ease at millikelvin temperatures.

We are constantly innovating at ZPC. We focus so heavily on innovation because cryogenic needs are constantly changing. We value innovation because a significant portion of our staff are trained physicists who have used dilution fridges in their research and know what users want and need. Our staff members have a broad spectrum of in-house expertise, which covers every step of the manufacturing process—from design to CNC (computer numerical control) machining, to polishing and gold plating, to extensive testing and system optimization.

At Zero Point Cryogenics, we believe that the future of cryogenics is rich. We will continue to strenuously push innovation in cryogenics today to unlock the full potential of quantum technologies tomorrow. Contact us to discuss your cryogenic needs.

Subscribers can access the online issue of Physics today by clicking here.


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