Simple specific heat apparatus based on Gifford-Mac Mahon cryocooler

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A simple apparatus for fast specific heat measurements between 15 and 300 K is presented. It consists of a sample holder embedded into a temperature-controlled cell coupled to a Gifford-Mac Mahon cryocooler. We used two inexpensive thin-film Pt-resistors electrically connected in series. One of them, weakly coupled to the cell by four measurement wires, acts as the sample holder, its thermometer, as well as its heater. The second one, located on the cell, is used for temperature control in which a simple proportional-integral control algorithm maintains the temperature difference between the sample holder and the cell within a few millikelvins. Our results for the specific heat of copper were obtained at sweep rates up to 200 K/h, and they match the tabulated values within 5%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2020-2021
Number of pages2
JournalPhysica B: Condensed Matter
Issue numberPART II
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2000
Event 22nd International Conference on Low Temperature Physics - Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 4 Aug 199911 Aug 1999


  • Gifford-Mac Mahon cryocooler
  • Specific heat


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