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Material Characterisation

Cryogenic equipment is a necessity for research on a wide range of material properties. Partly because atoms behave very differently at low temperatures and the order in the system increases, reducing the thermal noise that disturbs measurements. Furthermore, many material properties related to superconductivity, superfluidity and quantum behaviour are impossible to study at high temperatures where thermal excitations break the low energy states of interest.

Such fundamental properties are not only of academic interest; material research at low temperatures has aided the development of semiconductors used in today’s modern electronics and superconducting materials are used in medical equipment like MRI and MEG scanners. More recent example includes graphene and quantum dots which are starting to find applications in photonic circuits, solar cells and lasers.

Current material research on oxide ceramics have potential applications in magnets and power transmission. Topological insulators and other quantum materials may one day be used in quantum computers and cryptography.

Low Dimensional Physics

Low dimensional physics involves the study of systems in which at least one of the three dimensions is intermediate between those characteristics of atoms/molecules and those of the bulk material, generally in the range from 1 nm to 100 nm. Examples of low dimensional systems are 2-dimensional electron gases, nanowires, nanotubes and quantum dots, etc. These systems have very interesting electronic (conductivity, superconductivity, magnetism) and optical properties and we can supply tools to help you study these properties at low temperatures and/or in a magnetic field.


Low Temperature Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM), Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM) and Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) are very sensitive applications which require extremely low level of vibrations. Oxford Instruments' following products are popularly used for these techniques.


Graphene & 2D Materials

2D Materials, sometimes referred to as single layer materials, are crystalline materials consisting of a single layer of atoms. Since the isolation of graphene - a single-layer of graphite, a large amount of research has been directed at isolating other 2D materials due to their unusual characteristics and for use in applications such as photovoltaics, semiconductors, electrodes and water purification. The global market for 2D materials is expected to rise considerably, mostly for graphene in the semiconductor, electronics, battery energy and composites markets. Oxford Instruments' following products are popularly used for these technologies.

Low Temperature Detectors

The novel techniques of particle detection using cooled detectors are now finding wide applications for measurements ranging from cosmology to homeland defence. Oxford Instruments' following products are popularly used for these techniques.


Photonics is the physical science of light (photon) generation, detection, and manipulation through emission, transmission, modulation, signal processing, switching, amplification, and detection/sensing. Applications of photonics include all areas from everyday life to the most advanced science, e.g. light detection, telecommunications, information processing, photonic computing, lighting, metrology, spectroscopy, holography, medicine (surgery, vision correction, endoscopy, health monitoring), biophotonics, military technology, laser material processing, agriculture, robotics and art diagnostics (involving IR reflectography, X-rays, UV fluorescence and XRF). Oxford Instruments' following products are popularly used for these applications.


Spintronics, also known as spin electronics, is the study of the intrinsic spin of the electron and its associated magnetic moment, in addition to its fundamental electronic charge, in solid-state devices. Oxford Instruments' following products are popularly used for Spintronics studies.

Condensed Matter Physics

By employing a range of techniques measuring the mechanical, optical, electrical, magnetic and thermal properties of soft and structured matter experimentalists probe the basic properties of materials throwing light on new physics. Whether this work is on bulk materials, quantum fluids or nano-devices low temperatures and high magnetic fields play an important role in characterising their behaviour and material properties. Through our range of wet and dry low temperature platforms with integrated superconducting magnet systems we offer a range of environments for neutron scattering, x-ray diffraction, (fractional) Quantum Hall Effect, Shubnikov de Haas Oscillations, de Haas van Alphen Oscillations, susceptibility, electrical transport,  thermal transport, heat capacity, optical spectroscopy and magneto-optic polarisation measurements.


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