CERN Accelerating science

European Organization for Nuclear Research

Pulse tube refrigerator/cryo-cooler

Pulse tube refrigerator/cryo-cooler


New design of a single stage Pulse tube cryo-cooler (PTC). This invention permits to discard the adjusting valves and all connecting tubes between them while preserving the phase-adjusting mechanism, resulting in the minimization of dead volume and in an unmatched compactness. This design provides an increased efficiency compared to conventional systems with similar dimensions and lower temperatures can be achieved.
This cooling system suitable is for application with high radiation backgrounds. The CERN’s PTC is radiation-resistant and has a high reliability and can be remote controlled, what makes it suitable for serving LHC luminosities experiments.

Area of expertise

Accelerators, Magnets and Cryogenic Technology


  • Low-vibration, low Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) cooling for various electronics devices.
  • Special space applications, e.g. space based telescopes or astronomical detectors in space shuttles, or to liquefy oxygen.
  • Low noise cooling for infrared sensors used in night vision equipments, satellite-based surveillance, atmospheric studies and pollution monitoring.
  • Cryo-medical instrumentation such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems, Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUID), cryosurgery and organ preservation.
  • Other industrial and commercial applications, such as liquefaction and/or separation of gases, cryo-pumping.

Innovative features

The new design discards all the adjusting valves and connecting tubes between them. Orifice and double-inlet functions are realized inside the warm-end flange.


  • Simplified design and fabrication leading to a more compact and reliable system
  • Cheaper than other Pulse Tubes to manufacture
  • Minimized dead volume and miniaturization
  • Improved efficiency
  • Improved cooling performance

Intellectual Property status

Ready for licensing.

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PDF icon PulseTubeRefrigeratorCryoCooler.pdf265.67 KB