Characterization of Two Fast-Turnaround Dry Dilution Refrigerators for Scanning Probe Microscopy

Mark E. Barber, Yifan Li, Jared Gibson, Jiachen Yu, Zhanzhi Jiang, Yuwen Hu, Zhurun Ji, Nabhanila Nandi, Jesse C. Hoke, Logan Bishop-Van Horn, Gilbert R. Arias, Dale J. Van Harlingen, Kathryn A. Moler, Zhi Xun Shen, Angela Kou, Benjamin E. Feldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Low-temperature scanning probe microscopes (SPMs) are critical for the study of quantum materials and quantum information science. Due to the rising costs of helium, cryogen-free cryostats have become increasingly desirable. However, they typically suffer from comparatively worse vibrations than cryogen-based systems, necessitating the understanding and mitigation of vibrations for SPM applications. Here we demonstrate the construction of two cryogen-free dilution refrigerator SPMs with minimal modifications to the factory default and we systematically characterize their vibrational performance. We measure the absolute vibrations at the microscope stage with geophones and use both microwave impedance microscopy and a scanning single-electron transistor to independently measure tip-sample vibrations. Additionally, we implement customized filtering and thermal anchoring schemes and characterize the cooling power at the scanning stage and the tip electron temperature. This work serves as a reference to researchers interested in cryogen-free SPMs, as such characterization is not standardized in the literature or available from manufacturers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Low Temperature Physics
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Apr 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Cryogen-free
  • Dilution refrigerator
  • Scanning probe microscopy
  • Vibrations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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