Part of the Oxford Instruments Group

Dry Cryostats - OptistatDry

Cryogen-Free Optical Spectroscopy 

Andor's CryoFree™ <4 Kelvin Sample-in-Vacuum and Sample-in Exchange Gas cryostats offer precise optical alignment, vibration isolation and fast and simple sample exchange.

They boast flexible experimental wiring options and are powered by our versatile and upgradeable MercuryITC temperature controller.

OptistatDryBLV: Compact, Precise, Efficient. The focal point of Optical Spectroscopy.

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Precise and Efficient Dry Cryostats

The OptistatDryBLV and OptistatDryTLEX cryostats have been developed in collaboration with a number of leading UK physicists for use across a wide range of research applications. Designed to be the focal point of your experiment with easy to adjust optical alignment, precise and repeatable sample exchange and versatile sample holder and wiring options.


Optistat Dry BLV – 3 K Cryofree® cryostat, with sample in vacuum, for a wide range of spectroscopy applications. Ideally suited for UV/VIS, Raman, FTIR, Fluorescence, Photoluminescence, Terahertz, and Electroluminescence.

Click the hotspots on the right to explore the key features and benefits of the OptistatDry BLV.

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OptistatDryTLEX - sub 4 K Cryofree cryostat, with sample in exchange gas. Fast and simple sample change with sample height adjust, rotation and flexible wiring to the sample position. Ideally suited for a wide range of spectroscopy applications and able to handle solid, liquid and powdered samples.

Click the hotspots on the right to explore the key features and benefits of the OptistatDry TLEX.

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Dry Cryostat Models

Specification OptistatDry BLV OptistatDry TLEX
Sample Environment Vacuum Exchange Gas
Temperature Range < 3 – 300 K < 4 – 300 K
Temperature stability (period) +/-0.1 K (measured over 10 mins)
Maximum sample space 40 mm dia x 50 mm tall 20 mm diameter
Cold head cooling power 0.2 W at 4.2 K (60 Hz)
0.16 W at 4.2 K (50 Hz)
Cool down from ambient to 4.2 K 2.5 hrs (200) 3.0 hrs (12P) 6 hrs
Sample change time 4-5 hrs 5 mins (45 mins to base T)
Vibration <10 μm RMS typical
Specifications Specifications Specifications
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Dry Cryostat Applications

Raman Scattering

Raman Scattering or the Raman effect is the inelastic scattering of a photon by molecules which are excited to higher vibrational or rotational energy levels. As a purely optical process it is used to analyse a wide range of materials, including gases, liquids, and solids. Highly complex materials such as biological organisms and human tissue can also be analysed by Raman spectroscopy.

The vibration reduction of the OptistatDry stand and the provision of non-birefringent windows makes the system suitable for cryogen free Raman experiments.

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Quantum Devices

Qubits, or quantum bits, are basic building blocks of a quantum computing device. Although solid state qubit operation is typically carried out at milliKelvin temperatures, device characteristics and functionality can often be confirmed at higher temperatures such as 4K.

Devices such as QPC (Quantum Point Contact) can have various characterisations carried out at low temperatures in the OptistatDryBLV system. The provision of DC wiring looms and in conjunction with a Lock-in amplifier, conductance measurements can be completed with both AC and DC signals at a range of temperatures and frequencies. Such combination of equipment can offer huge gains in time to first characterisation, greatly reducing time to publication with much reduced complexity compared to lower temperature setups.

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Electrical Transport

Electrical measurements such as standard electrical transport, resistivity, conductance and the Hall effect, carried out at low temperatures, can provide important information on the electronic properties and structure of materials.

With wiring options from 12 to 20 DC wires, PCB style sample "pucks" and temperatures from 3K to 300K, the OptistatDry range system is well equipped to perform a wide variety of temperature dependant electrical transport measurements on samples ranging from HTc Superconductors to complex 2D structures.

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Transient Spectroscopy

Transient spectroscopy encompasses a powerful set of techniques for probing and characterizing the electronic and structural properties of short-lived excited states (transient states) of photochemically or photophysically relevant molecules.

As the motions of molecules reduces at very low temperatures, only the photochemistry which does not include movement of atoms can proceed and hence studies at cryogenic temperatures can provide an important insight into protein mechanisms, photochemically interesting molecules or a range of other physical or biological samples.

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With large clear optical access (f1) and a single window transmission path, the OptistatDry range has been designed to maximise the light capture from across a wide variety of samples including bulk materials and devices. Ideal for research in the development of photovoltaics, solar cells, nanomaterials and semiconductors.

Both the OptistatDryBLV and TLEX cryostats have been successfully integrated into commercially available spectrometers from manufacturers such as Edinburgh Instruments, Bruker, PicoQuant and others.

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Infrared and Terahertz spectroscopy is widely used for polymer research, inorganic chemistry, pharma or drug related research, solid state and semiconductor physics. The combination of these techniques, particularly FTIR and THz spectroscopy can provide a great insight into sample properties

The wide range of user-changeable window materials makes the OptistatDry range perfect for such applications. With only a single window in each optical port there is optimal transmission of light through a broad band of wavelengths. Materials ranging from Vitreous Silica for UV/Vis, CaF2 for near to far IR and TPX or Diamond stretching into the far IR and THz regions, can be easily swapped out in any of the available optical ports.

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Further Reading