Sample environment at SINQ


Marek Bartkowiak (group leader)
Markus Zolliker (general aspects, controls)
Patrick Hautle (pressure safety, spin flipper, DNP)
Gediminas Simutis (high pressure)
Paul Schurter, Silvan Stamm, Florian Fautz(technicians)

Cryogenic safety at SINQ (internal)
Cryogenic Handling Procedures (internal)

Sample Environment at SINQ under NICOS

Device Lists

On this page, there is some general information about sample environment. For details go to one of

The documentation of sample environment at SINQ may not be complete. Please write to MissingSamEnvDocumentation what you want to see here.


The broad range of research topics investigated at SINQ requires not only a large zoo of neutron scattering instruments but also a large collection of sample environment devices. At present, any temperature between 100 mK to 1800 K, any magnetic fields up to 15 T and any high pressure up to 100 kbar may be achieved.

Closed Cycle Refrigerators

For temperatures between 4 K and 325 K, in general, closed cycle refrigerators are the best choice, as they are very easy to use. Our closed cycle refrigerators are mostly from CTI-Cryogenics, ARS and from Sumitomo Heavy Industries. The accuray of the temperature in a closed cycle machine (cold finger principle) is limited. See CTI Test Report on a CTI. For details see closed cycle refrigerators.

Helium Cryostats

For temperature down to 1.5 K, or if a precise temperature is required, helium cryostats should be used. The working horse is the ILL Orange cryostat, manufactured at AS Scientific Products Ltd. For details see He cryostats.

Dilution Cryostats

Dilution cryostats are used for very low temperatures down to millikelvin temperatures. We have now three dilution refigerator inserts for temperatures down to 50 mK. They may be inserted into a Helium-4 cryostat or into one of the cryomagnets. For details see dilution cryostats.


Actually, three furnaces are available covering the temperature range between RT and 1800 K. Two are constructed at the PSI. A third device was manufactured at the ILL (now available from AS Scientific). Please contact the sample environment group before any experiment with a furnace, as different aspects have to be discussed in advance. For details see furnace list.


Supraconducting magnets are used to achieve magnetics fields up to 15 Tesla. The Oxford Instruments Cryomagnets may be used with sample temperatures from 300 K down to 0.1 K when combined with the dilution stick. For details see magnet list.

Pressure Devices

The clamp cell pressure devices are manufactured at the Institute for High Pressure Physics (RAS Moscow). Pressures up to 30 kbar (3 GPa) may be achieved. For details see pressure devices.

Electric Fields

A versatile high voltage sample stick that fits into all of our cryomagnets and standard cryostats is available. The stick allows for voltages up to 5 kV and can be easily adapted for different scattering geometries. For details see electric Field.

Additional Equipment

The main temperature controllers used are the LakeShore Models 340, 336 and 370. Under Additional Equipment information on additional equipment might be found.


Most of the sample environment electronics is now handled by SEA.

Additional information