We have used the thermal modeling tool in COMSOL Multiphysics to investigate factors that affect the thermal performance of the optical refrigerator. Assuming an ideal cooling element and a non-absorptive dielectric trapping mirror, the three dominant heating factors are blackbody radiation from the surrounding environment, conductive heat transfer through mechanical supports, and the absorption of fluorescent photons transmitted through the thermal link. Laboratory experimentation coupled with computer modeling using Code V optical software have resulted in link designs capable of reducing the transmission to 0.04% of the fluoresced photons emitted toward the thermal link. The ideal thermal link will have minimal surface area, provide complete optical isolation for the load, and possess high thermal conductivity. Modeling results imply that a 1 cm/sup 3/ load can be chilled to 102 K with currently available cooling efficiencies using a 100 W pump laser on a YB:ZBLANP system, and using an ideal link that has minimal surface area and no optical transmission. We review the simulated steady-state cooling temperatures reached by the heat load for several link designs and system configurations as a comparative measure of how well particular configurations perform.
© 2008 International Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE)
Byram, K., D. Mar, J. Parker, S. Von der Porten, J. Hankinson, C. Lee, K. Mayeda, R. C. Haskell, Q. Yang, S. R. Greenfield, and R. I. Epstein. "Computer modeling and analysis of thermal link performance for an optical refrigerator." Proceedings of Laser Refrigeration of Solids SPIE Conference in San Jose, California. 23 January 2008. DOI: 10.1117/12.764287