All-Micromachined Joule-Thomson Cold Stage

P.P.M. Lerou, G.C.F. Venhorst, T.T. Veenstra, Henricus V. Jansen, Johannes Faas Burger, Herman J. Holland, Hermanus J.M. ter Brake, Horst Rogalla

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A micro Joule-Thomson cold stage was designed, built and tested, as part of the micro cooling research project at the University of Twente. The cold stage consists of a stack of three glass wafers. In the top wafer, the high-pressure line is etched as a rectangular channel with supporting pillars. The high-pressure line ends in a flow restriction and an evaporator volume that crosses the center wafer into the bottom wafer. The bottom wafer contains the low-pressure line, again etched as a rectangular channel containing supporting pillars, thus forming a counter-flow heat exchanger. A design aimed at a net cooling power of 10 mW at 96 K and operating with nitrogen as the working fluid was optimized based on the minimization of entropy production. The optimum cold finger measures 28 mm x 2.2 mm x 0.8 mm (max. dimensions). It should be able to generate a net cooling power of 10 mW at 96 K at a nitrogen flow of 1 mg/s at a high pressure of 80 bar and a low pressure of 6 bar. A batch of 14 prototype coolers were made for 8 different designs, including a design of the theoretical optimum. Liquid nitrogen is collected in the evaporator, and since the low pressure is 6 bar, the temperature should be 96 K. However, due to some thermal resistance in the thermocouple attached to the cold tip, a temperature of 105 K was achieved. A net cooling power of 5 mW was measured. In the paper, the design of the coolers will be discussed along with experimental results.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th International Cryocooler Conference
EditorsS.D. Miller, R.G. Ross jr.
Place of PublicationAnnapolis, Maryland
PublisherICC Press Boulder
Number of pages437
ISBN (Print)not assigned
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jul 2007
Event14th International Cryocooler Conference, Cryocoolers-14 2006 - Annapolis, MD, USA, Annapolis, United States
Duration: 14 Jun 200616 Jun 2006
Conference number: 14


Conference14th International Cryocooler Conference, Cryocoolers-14 2006
Abbreviated titleCryocoolers
CountryUnited States
Other16-20 July 2007


  • METIS-243858
  • EWI-19162
  • IR-75542

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