Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have invented a miniature thermometer with big potential applications such as monitoring the temperature of processor chips in superconductor-based quantum computers, which must stay cold to work properly.
NIST’s superconducting thermometer measures temperatures below 1 Kelvin (minus 272.15 ?C or minus 457.87 ?F), down to 50 milliKelvin (mK) and potentially 5 mK. It is smaller, faster and more convenient than conventional cryogenic thermometers for chip-scale devices and could be mass produced. NIST researchers describe the design and operation in a new journal paper.
Just 2.5 by 1.15 millimeters in size, the new thermometer can be embedded in or stuck to another cryogenic microwave device to measure its temperature when mounted on a chip. The researchers used the thermometer to demonstrate fast, accurate measurements of the heating of a superconducting microwave amplifier.
The technology is a spinoff of NIST’s custom superconducting