Low temperatures and materials science in practical experience classes for students

A measurement according to the script on Gadolinium

For a long time, the PPMS and MPMS3 platforms from Quantum Design have been the first choice when it comes to the characterization of physical and magnetic sample properties. Both systems provide sample temperatures of 1.9 to 400 K and are equipped with a superconducting magnet for a maximum field of 7, 9 or 14 Tesla. All Quantum Design systems are almost fully automated and well suited for a wide range of scientific applications. This is documented by hundreds of systems that are in use in renowned research facilities worldwide, some of them for decades. However, few know that Quantum Design has special offers for research students. VersaLab, a compact and cryogenic low temperature cryostat, is already being used for student’s research in the USA.

The system can be used for electric, thermal and/or magnetic mea­surements – with a magnetic field of ±3 Tesla and a sample chamber temperature of 50 to 400 K. Thus under perfect conditions for scientific newcomers to gain first experience in cryotechnology. Quantum Design provides many experimental setups for student research on their website.

For example: 

  • Hall effect on copper 
  • Synthesis and characterization of a superconductor 
  • Measurement of heat capacity 
  • Magnetic measurements with the VSM 

All of these setup instructions are publicly available and can be found under “”. By the way: All experiments also work with a PPMS! The “Magnetism Demonstrations: Magnetic signatures of some common states of materials” experiment is particularly interesting. With this setup, students learn about different magnetic behavior. The experiment summarizes measurements which treat effects like para-, diamagne­tism, ferro- and antiferromagnetism and superconductivity. The figure above shows a measurement according to the script on Gadolinium. The measurement was performed at our lab at LOT-QuantumDesign Darmstadt. Gadolinium has ferromagnetic properties with a Curie temperature of 293 K. Both branches show a temperature-dependent measurement with field (FCC: field-cooled cooling) and without (ZFC: zero-field cooling).

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