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NTU research embraces laser and sparks cool affair
Date:1/30/2013

otential for a compact, cost-effective, vibration-free and cryogen-less cooling system is enormous, as the global market for energy-efficient buildings is estimated to be worth over $100 billion dollars by 2017, according to reports by Global Industry Analysts (GIA).

"This also translates into the ability to build miniaturised coolers to cool infrared sensors used in satellites for imaging and build self-cooling computer chips suitable for use in portable devices like tablets and smart phones."

Prof Xiong, who leads a research team of 25 people including three undergraduates, is now looking to bring laser cooling down to liquid helium temperature at minus 269 degree Celsius. This is because in principle and theory, semiconductors can support laser cooling down to such a low temperatures.

"Our initial results published in Nature, have shown that it is possible to laser-cool a semiconductor to liquid nitrogen temperature, so we are aiming to reach an even lower temperature, such as that of liquid helium," said Prof Xiong, who had directed the research efforts of his researchers Dr. Zhang Jun and Ph.D. student Li Dehui towards this new area.

This experiment which took three years to complete was funded by NTU, Prof Xiong's National Research Foundation Fellowship grant and the Ministry of Education Academic Research Fund.

NTU's ground-breaking research into fundamental physics and sciences is one of the key components in Sustainability, one of the university's Five Peaks of Excellence, areas of research which NTU hopes to make a global mark in under its five-year strategic plan.

Such a development of a laser cooling system will also benefit other key research areas, such as Future Healthcare which is also a Peak of Excellence. Other peaks include New Media, Innovation Asia and the Best of East and West.


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Contact: Lester Kok
lesterkok@ntu.edu.sg
Nanyang Technological University
Source:Eurekalert  

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