Letter | Published:

Laser cooling of solids to cryogenic temperatures

Nature Photonics volume 4, pages 161164 (2010) | Download Citation

Abstract

Laser radiation has been used to cool matter ranging from dilute gases to micromechanical oscillators. In Doppler cooling of gases, the translational energy of atoms is lowered through interaction with a laser field1,2. Recently, cooling of a high-density gas through collisional redistribution of radiation has been demonstrated3. In laser cooling of solids, heat is removed through the annihilation of lattice vibrations in the process of anti-Stokes fluorescence4,5,6. Since its initial observation in 1995, research7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15 has led to achieving a temperature of 208 K in ytterbium-doped glass16. In this Letter, we report laser cooling of ytterbium-doped LiYF4 crystal to a temperature of 155 K starting from ambient, with a cooling power of 90 mW. This is achieved by making use of the Stark manifold resonance in a crystalline host, and demonstrates the lowest temperature achieved to date without the use of cryogens or mechanical refrigeration. Optical refrigeration has entered the cryogenic regime, surpassing the performance of multi-stage Peltier coolers.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    & Cooling of gases by laser radiation. Opt. Commun. 13, 68–69 (1975).

  2. 2.

    , & For development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light. Nobel Prize in Physics (1997).

  3. 3.

    & Laser cooling by collisional redistribution of radiation. Nature 461, 70–74 (2009).

  4. 4.

    Zwei bemerkungen über den unterschied von lumineszenz- und temperaturstrahlung. Z. Phys. 57, 739–746 (1929).

  5. 5.

    , , , & Observation of laser induced fluorescent cooling of a solid. Nature 377, 500–503 (1995).

  6. 6.

    & Optical refrigeration. Nature Photon. 12, 693–699 (2007).

  7. 7.

    , , , & Laser cooling of a solid by 16 K starting from room temperature. Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1030–1033 (1997).

  8. 8.

    & New materials for optical cooling. Appl. Phys. B 71, 807–811 (2000).

  9. 9.

    , , , & Observation of anti-Stokes fluorescent cooling in thulium-doped glass. Phys. Rev. Lett. 85, 3600–3603 (2000).

  10. 10.

    et al. Anti-Stokes laser cooling in Yb3+-doped KPb2Cl5 crystal. Opt. Lett. 27, 1525–1527 (2002).

  11. 11.

    , & Anti-Stokes laser cooling in bulk erbium-doped materials. Phys. Rev. Lett. 97, 033001 (2006).

  12. 12.

    et al. Spectroscopic and laser cooling results on Yb3+-doped BaY2F8 single crystal. J. Appl. Phys. 100, 013109 (2006).

  13. 13.

    et al. Laser cooling of solids: new results with single fluoride crystals. Nuovo Cimento B Serie 122, 685694 (2007).

  14. 14.

    et al. Anti-Stokes luminescence cooling of Tm3+ doped BaY2F8. Opt. Express 16, 1704–1710 (2008).

  15. 15.

    , , , & Optical cooling in Er3+:KPb2Cl5. Opt. Express 17, 5466–5472 (2009).

  16. 16.

    , , & Cooling to 208 K by optical refrigeration. Appl. Phys. Lett. 86, 154107 (2005).

  17. 17.

    & Optical Refrigeration (Wiley-VCH, 2009).

  18. 18.

    , , , & External radiative quantum efficiency of 96% from a GaAs/GaInP heterostructure. Appl. Phys. A 64, 143–147 (1997).

  19. 19.

    & Can laser light cool semiconductors? Phys. Rev. Lett. 92, 247403 (2004).

  20. 20.

    , , , & Cooling of a semiconductor by luminescence up-conversion. Appl. Phys. Lett. 75, 1258–1260 (1999).

  21. 21.

    & Cavity cooling of a microlever. Nature 432, 1002–1005 (2004).

  22. 22.

    , & Model of laser cooling in the Yb3+-doped fluorozirconate glass ZBLAN. Phys. Rev. B 75, 144302 (2007).

  23. 23.

    & Laser cooling of solids. Laser Photon. Rev. 3, 67–84 (2009).

  24. 24.

    et al. Diode pumped passively mode-locked Yb:YLF laser. Opt. Express 16, 2922–2927 (2008).

  25. 25.

    et al. Cooling of Yb:YLF using cavity enhanced resonant absorption. Proc. SPIE 6907, 6907B (2008).

  26. 26.

    , , & Spectroscopic properties of Yb doped YLF grown by a vertical Bridgman method. J. Alloy Compound 408–412, 780–783 (2006).

  27. 27.

    et al. Advances in laser cooling of thulium-doped glass. J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 20, 1066–1074 (2003).

  28. 28.

    et al. Differential luminescence thermometry in semiconductor laser cooling. Proc. SPIE 6115, 61151C (2006).

  29. 29.

    Einstein relations connecting broadband emission and absorption spectra. Phys. Rev. 136, A954–A957 (1964).

  30. 30.

    & Performance modeling of optical refrigerators. Cryogenics 46, 176–182 (2005).

Download references

Acknowledgements

This work has been supported by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (MURI program), grant FA 9550-04-1-0356. The authors thank M.P. Hasselbeck and R.I. Epstein for helpful discussions and M.P. Hasselbeck for proofreading the manuscript. The authors would also like to acknowledge the skill and competence of I. Grassini in preparing the sample.

Author information

Author notes

    • Stefano Bigotta

    Present address: French-German Research Institute of Saint-Louis ISL, 5, rue du Général Cassagnou, BP 70034, 68301 Saint-Louis Cedex, France

Affiliations

  1. University of New Mexico, Physics and Astronomy Department, 800 Yale Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA

    • Denis V. Seletskiy
    • , Seth D. Melgaard
    •  & Mansoor Sheik-Bahae
  2. NEST-CNR-INFM, Dipartimento di Fisica, Università di Pisa, Largo B. Pontecorvo 3, 56127 Pisa, Italy

    • Stefano Bigotta
    • , Alberto Di Lieto
    •  & Mauro Tonelli

Authors

  1. Search for Denis V. Seletskiy in:

  2. Search for Seth D. Melgaard in:

  3. Search for Stefano Bigotta in:

  4. Search for Alberto Di Lieto in:

  5. Search for Mauro Tonelli in:

  6. Search for Mansoor Sheik-Bahae in:

Contributions

D.V.S. and M.S.B. designed and implemented the experiments. D.V.S. and S.D.M. performed the experiments, designed radiation shielding and carried out calibrations. S.B., A.D.L. and M.T. grew and prepared the high-purity Yb:YLF crystals and provided supporting spectroscopic data. All authors contributed to the final manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mansoor Sheik-Bahae.

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2009.269

Further reading