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The World's Smallest Refrigerator

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posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 07:33 PM
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www.livescience.com...


Scientists have developed the world’s tiniest refrigerator – and it’s pretty cold too. Even smaller than a college dorm fridge, the microchip sized fridge can cool objects down to -459 degrees Fahrenheit.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology-designed refrigerators, each 25 by 15 micrometers, are sandwiches of a normal metal, an insulator and a superconducting metal. When a voltage is applied across the sandwich, the hottest electrons "tunnel" from the normal metal through the insulator to the superconductor. The temperature in the normal metal drops dramatically and drains extra heat energy from the objects being cooled.

The researchers used four pairs of these sandwiches to cool the contents of a silicon nitrate membrane that was 450 micrometers on a side and 0.4 micrometers thick. A cube of germanium 250 micrometers on a side, about 11,000 times larger than the combined volume of the fridges was glued on top of the membrane. This is roughly equivalent to having a refrigerator the size of a person cool an object the size of the Statue of Liberty. Both objects were cooled down to about -459° F.

The refrigerators are made using common chip-making lithography methods, which makes it easy to integrate them in production of other micro scale devices. These tiny fridges are much smaller and less expensive than conventional equipment. The fridges have applications such as cooling cryogenic sensors in highly sensitive instruments for semiconductor analysis and astronomical research.


another great image...

and another great piece of info...

ENJOY!!!




[edit on 28-4-2005 by Kano]




posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 07:37 PM
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They'll probably need one of these on the new dual-core Pentium 4!!!


Actually, one would be great help in minature electronics if the cooling process could be regulated......

Hmmmmm......



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 07:40 PM
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What can you cool with that? and how you are supposed to use it, just put it on top of the thing you want to cool out.?

I don't get it.



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 07:44 PM
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It could be extremely useful. If you read this thread ' www.abovetopsecret.com... ' it explains that they reached 5ghz by cooling the computer with liquid nitrogen. Now apply that to the average user, this would be a big step up. Faster, faster, faster.



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 07:44 PM
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Originally posted by marg6043
What can you cool with that? and how you are supposed to use it, just put it on top of the thing you want to cool out.?

I don't get it.


right now...

its only for "science" purposes...

"The fridges have applications such as cooling cryogenic sensors in highly sensitive instruments for semiconductor analysis and astronomical research."

see???





posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 09:09 PM
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It's useless!! How many beers can you fit into that?!?!



posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 09:11 PM
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Originally posted by turbonium
It's useless!! How many beers can you fit into that?!?!


ummm...

a mini-drop???

is that enough for you (don't answer that)






posted on Apr, 27 2005 @ 09:24 PM
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actually that is pretty interesting. The "fridges" contstuction is similar to that of a capacitor, or so it seems. When you actually think about it, it makes sense. Its amazing how small we are making these different components these days. It will surely lead to amazing things in the future. Great find!



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 08:24 AM
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Hey......you could use it to KEEP SUPERCONDUCTORS COLD

or is that a flawed hypothesis?



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 09:41 AM
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Originally posted by Montana
They'll probably need one of these on the new dual-core Pentium 4!!!


Or current laptops. Have you read about the number of people getting burned from setting their laptops on their laps? Heat issues in current laptops are pretty severe.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 10:23 AM
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For computers we already have/use a contraption like this called TEC's or Peltiers. They are relativly cheap and funtion like this:


Peltier devices, also known as thermoelectric (TE) modules, are small
solid-state devices that function as heat pumps. A "typical" unit is a few
millimeters thick by a few millimeters to a few centimeters square. It is
a sandwich formed by two ceramic plates with an array of small Bismuth
Telluride cubes ("couples") in between. When a DC current is applied heat
is moved from one side of the device to the other - where it must be removed
with a heatsink. The "cold" side is commonly used to cool an electronic
device such as a microprocessor or a photodetector. If the current is
reversed the device makes an excellent heater.

As with any device, TE modules work best when applied properly. They are not
meant to serve as room air conditioners. They are best suited to smaller
cooling applications, although they are used in applications as large as
portable picnic-type coolers. They can be stacked to achieve lower
temperatures, although reaching cryogenic temperatures would require great care.
They are not very "efficient" and can draw amps of power. This disadvantage is
more than offset by the advantages of no moving parts, no Freon refrigerant, no
noise, no vibration, very small size, long life, capability of precision
temperature control, etc.


You can use them in combo with normal heatsinks, watercooling and I've even seen some people use them in combo with vapochill type coolers.

I use 100W peltiers on both my CPU and GPU in combo with a chilled water system and get over 70°C drawdown temperature compared to the same system using only non-chilled watercooling.

This means on a 11x200 CPU (2.2Ghz AXP) I get 28°C idle temps with pure water setup while I get -50 to -60°C using the peltier/chilled water setup.

And agian, Peltiers are cheap you can buy a 220W Peltier for 50€.

The drawback with Peltiers are their power consumption though, a 220W Peltier can easely draw 20A from your PSU, you you'll need a 2nd PSU to power the peltiers you use in a system.

When using 50-100W Peltiers in a system with just the basics(disk, mobo, cpu, ram and gpu) you can stay with a single 500W PSU without running into power troubles.

But when using a watersetup and peltiers, your propably already more then an enthousiast and don't mind using more then one PSU or a more expensive 600-1000W PSU to power your system.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 10:35 AM
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I suppose they could use these to cool the space shuttles heat shields and even in the high heat LCD video projectors like my old Proxima Deskpro 2800.

Maybe even to make some lightweight refrigerated clothing. Nice.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 10:39 AM
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How bout fridges? No body mentioned that
I can see minaturization of freezer components so they take up less space.



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 10:52 AM
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Originally posted by turbonium
It's useless!! How many beers can you fit into that?!?!


If you read the article, though, the cooling is like using a human sized cooler to cool the Empire State Building. So all you would need is one of these things placed on your Cold One, and it will cool to about -479. Now that's a cold beer!



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 11:05 AM
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But guys!!!! it will be a cheat to get around finding a room temperature superconducter.

just place one o these babyz on top of a superconducting material and wahoo! long lasting superconducter!



posted on Apr, 28 2005 @ 02:38 PM
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Originally posted by Byrd
Or current laptops. Have you read about the number of people getting burned from setting their laptops on their laps? Heat issues in current laptops are pretty severe.


byrd is right again...

sometimes, my laptop is VERY hot...





posted on Apr, 30 2005 @ 04:44 AM
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sometimes, my laptop is VERY hot...


I tried that line once, and all she did was slap me upside the head!!!



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