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ICE a key player in field of cryogenic engineering

By Team ICE posted 05 Jun 2023

Founded in 2004 to bring reliable high performing cryogenic systems to the market, ICE has become a key player in the field of cryogenic engineering. Our product range has expanded over recent years to supply the quantum research market with ranges of ‘Dry’ cryostats with base temperatures of 300mK, 1.0K, 1.5K and 3K. By providing high cooling powers and excellent temperature stability at these temperatures we are able to supply quantum researchers in a variety of quantum regimes.

ICE co-founders, Chris Busby and Paul Kelly, with our DRY ICE 1.5K VTI

Quantum computers rely on the manipulation of qubits, which are sensitive to environmental disturbances. Therefore, maintaining stable and ultra-cold conditions is crucial for their proper functioning. Single-photon quantum computing is one example of this. This method of quantum computing works best between 0.8K and 2K due to the level of stability achieved at these temperatures, so we have designed a large sample space, high cooling power system that can reach a base temperature of 0.76K (depending on the options selected). Our DRY ICE 1K Series has also been used as a pre-screening device for samples before they are put into a dilution refrigerator as they offer the ability to duplicate the wiring set up of a customer’s fridge but with a cool down time of less than 24 hours instead of 2 days or more. This means less time is wasted cooling unsuitable samples to dilution temperatures.

The qubits when using the trapped ion method of quantum computing are ions trapped by acombination of magnetic fields and lasers. Ions can also be stabilised by cooling and ICE have developed the DRY ICE 3K ION which cools ions to 3K within a high homogeneity, high stability, low current magnetic field with optical access.
Our flagship product, the DRY ICE 1.5K VTI, was first developed as a cryogen free solution to wet beamline cryostats. It has since developed into the workhorse of photonic quantum computing. The reason for this is that   the system provides high levels of cooling power to a high coax probe allowing for up to 52 coax lines. Alongside this, the probe can be cooled to a base temperature of 1.4K in less than 30 minutes, or 90 minutes for the high coax probe.

Each system provides versatility, including in terms of vibration performance. Vibration produced by the cold head is dampened in each system using our ICE Sock Technology which consists of a container called a sock, surrounding the cold head. We then hold the cold head away from the main body of the cryostat by supporting it on bellows. In addition to this, we have a range of anti-vibration frames to reduce vibration further if required.

ICE has established itself as a trusted and innovative provider of cryogenic systems. Our high performing systems have created stable, ultra-cold environments for qubits, propelling the field forward, and our ongoing efforts to enhance cooling efficiency and reliability hold great promise for the future of quantum computing. With our dedication to research, development and collaboration, we are actively supporting the realisation of the full potential of quantum computers, opening doors to ground-breaking scientific discoveries.


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