Part of the Oxford Instruments Group


The most compact Cryofree® dilution refrigerator on the market, designed specifically for low temperature detectors and beamline research. For a comparable price to an adiabatic demagnetisation refrigerator (ADR), Io offers higher cooling power and continuous operation without compromising the ease-of-use or temperature stability.

  • Small system footprint with pumps, gas handling and system control in a single rack

  • Customised configuration to suit a wide range of experiments with a variety of wiring options

  • Modular platform which can be supplied as a 1 K system and later upgraded to 50 mK

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Io is a compact, Cryofree® low vibration continuous cooling solution offering device and sample temperatures to 50 mK.  Io is ideal for low temperature research and detector applications. It offers continuous running and a compact cooling solution for many applications, lower device and sample temperatures compared to ADR and 3He refrigerators. It enables easy integration for a wide range of optical accessories such as windows, optical fibres, piezo-electric manipulators and neutron scattering tails. Together with a powerful 1 K circuit, Io is the perfect choice for quantum photonic measurements, detector development and beam-line applications. Io builds on our leading expertise in Cryofree technology, bringing in a new and compact footprint for a variety of applications. Io offers continous cooling due to the diultion refrigerator technology and provides experimental space that other techniques are unable to offer. 

  • 50 mK base temperature with a temperature stability of ±20 µK
  • 30 µW cooling power at 100 mK and 300 µW at 250 mK
  • Separate 4He cooling circuit (1 K stage) for thermal anchoring of wiring
  • Optional integrated 8 T, 77 mm bore magnet
  • Temperature range of operation: 50 mK – 10 K with the magnet at full field
  • System cool-down time: < 24 h without magnet, < 36 h with magnet
  • Sample space: 150 mm diameter sample plate x 150 mm height
  • One 50 mm line-of-sight port for installation of up to 8 semi-rigid coaxes
  • Non-line-of-sight ports for installation of flexible wiring, including: DC looms, S1 coaxes, and optical fibres
  • Low-vibration platform: 1 W pulse-tube cooler, de-coupled from the experimental plates with flexible copper braids
  • Easy to assemble by a single user: locking mechanism on all vacuum cans and radiation shields

Compact, lightweight and mobile - Easy to install and operate where space comes at a premium or when the system needs to be to be frequently moved from one place to another.

Excellent temperature control: The sample plate can be controlled between 50 mK and 10 K, while maintaining the magnet at full field. The temperature stability is: ± 1 mK below 100 mK, ± 1% above 100 mK. There are no unstable temperature regions, the sample plate can be controlled accurately at any intermediate temperature.

Dedicated 1 K stage: This powerful intermediate stage is ideal for anchoring wires and other experimental services.

Fast cool-down time: The system cools from room temperature to base (< 50 mK) in < 24 hours.

Low vibration: 1 W pulse-tube cooler decoupled with flexible copper braids.

Sample space: The 1 K plate is 160 mm diameter. The mixing chamber plate is 150 mm diameter.

Wiring capacity: One 50 mm line-of-sight port for up to eight semi-rigid coaxes and three more ports for flexible wiring.

Ease of assembly: The vacuum cans and radiation shield flanges have key-way holes, which makes the cryostat easier to assemble by a single person.

Ease of use: Bolted magnet current leads (no soldering required), continuous operation over a wide temperature range, simple push-button cool down procedure and automatic operation.

Io has one 50 mm line-of-sight port which allows for up to eight semi-rigid coaxial lines to be installed. Four additional non-line-of-sight ports (two additional if a magnet is purchased) are available for a variety of flexible wiring options.

Semi-rigid coaxes

  • UT85 coaxes with SMA connectors for 18 GHz bandwidth
  • Standard coax materials: Stainless-steel, Beryllium-Copper and NbTi
  • Heat sinking using bulk-head connectors fitted at all experimental plates with optional attenuators installed at PT1, PT2 and the still
  • All coax assemblies are cryogenically cycled and VNA tested in the factory

Flexible wiring options

  • 24-way twin-twisted DC looms with Constantan, Copper or NbTi conductors
  • Flexible coaxes (S1) – for use up to 500 MHz
  • Single-mode and multi-mode optical fibres
  • Semi-rigid coaxes for effective filtering of high-frequency noise
  • Low-impedance looms suitable for nano-positioning piezo devices

A compact cryogen-free platform operating at 1 K or 50 mK

(doi: 10.1088/1742-6596/969/1/012091) 

View the article here 

  • Low temperature detectors
  • Photonics
  • Qubit characterisation
  • Neutron scattering
  • Quantum information processing
  • Quantum computing
  • Semiconductor devices
  • Material characterisation
  • SQUIDs


Experimental wiring 

8 T Magnet

Customisable tail set

Optical windows 

Calibrated thermometry



Compact frame

50 mK dilution refrigerator 

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