Low Temperature Facility of Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

(TIFR) Mumbai meets the requirement of two cryogenic fluids - liquid helium and liquid nitrogen along with other support services to various Departments, facilities and laboratories of the institute, such as, Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science (DCMP & MS), Nuclear and Atomic Physics (DNAP), Biological Sciences (DBS), Astronomy and Astrophysics (DAA), and Chemical Sciences (DCS).

Low Temperature Facility (LTF) was started in 1961 with liquefaction of helium and then a liquid nitrogen generator was added in 1968.

LTF meets the cryogen demands of more than 40 users under various research facilities of the institute. Helium gas is liquefied with the Linde make, Model-L280 helium liquefier (installed in the year 2008) and Liquid nitrogen from Stirling Cryogenics make, Model: STIRLIN-8 liquid nitrogen plant (installed in the year 2010)

Besides the main cryogenic plants, LTF operates and maintains many other auxiliary equipment such as: Helium feed gas compressors, Helium recovery gas compressors, Cryogenic dewars (more than 75 dewars), High pressure cylinders (more than 1200 high pressure helium gas cylinders packed in 30 Quads), Mass Spectrometer Leak Detector (MSLD), Gas analyzers, Gas flow meters etc.

Instrument facilities of the institute that are supported by the cryogen from LTF are: National NMR Facility (three NMR spectrometers - 800 MHz and 500 MHz), DCMPMS Facilities: three SQUID magnetometers, two Physical Property Measurement systems (PPMS) and a VSM magnetometer. The above facilities are at kept cold continuously at liquid helium temperatures. The following laboratories are major users of liquid helium: Dilution milli-Kelvin refrigerator, Adiabatic de-magnetization milli-Kelvin refrigerator, Tunneling Point Spectroscopy, Point Contact Spectroscopy and Photo Electron Spectroscopy. In addition, about 16 other experiments also make use of liquid helium and liquid nitrogen.

After the use of liquid helium at various laboratories in the institute, the evaporated helium gas is recovered back for re-liquefaction. The Institute has a large network of recovery lines extending to various laboratories buildings of the Institute. LTF's helium recovery system handles a large quantity of boil-off helium gas sent by various laboratories through the above recovery network, with about 85% of helium gas recovery and re-liquefaction after compressing with the high pressure helium compressors & purifying.

All the cryogen-demands are being met on demand. For enhanced user convenience, 'on-line cryogens' requests and interfacing has been implemented for liquid helium, nitrogen. To meet the above demands LOW TEMPERATURE FACILITY works in round the clock operation.