Cryogenics and Superconductivity

Cryogenics at Institute of Scientific Instruments

The Cryogenics and Superconductivity Group started its activities in the research and development of superconducting magnets for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), including scientific and technical background for reaching and preserving very low temperatures down to 4.2 K. As time went on, the group has taken into account additional fields of cryogenics, such as vacuum technique, low temperature thermometry, material engineering, etc.

Presently the group deals with projects of basic as well as applied research. In both cases the group uses its comprehensive experimental background, in the Czech Republic entirely unique, for verifying and testing scientific and technical theories and knowledge. The own helium liquefier is a very important and supportive component.

Research orientation

  • Rayleigh-Bénard cryogenic convection: research activities at unique experimental facilities for study of turbulent Rayleigh-Bénard natural convection utilizing the cryogenic helium gas: transitions between different regimes of classical RBC flows at extreme values of Rayleigh numbers, understanding the connections between the classical and quantum turbulence via theoretical and experimental analyses of heat transfer laws.
  • Near field heat transfer at low temperatures: study of the radiative heat transfer over a microscopic gap between various thin films on dielectric substrates with variable temperatures. Superconductivity and its effects on the heat transfer in the near field regime are also analysed.
  • Characterization of thermal radiative properties of materials for cryogenics and space applications: assessment of a given surface´s ability to emit/absorb thermal radiation in a wide range of temperatures.
  • Analysis of thermal conductivity performance of insulating materials under controlled conditions.
  • Quantum phase transitions in mesoscopic systems: developing group theoretical models to study collective dynamics in mesoscopic systems, which display quantum phase transitions.
  • Collaboration with CERN on the cryogenic part of the project NA58 “COMPASS”.

The Cryogenics and Superconductivity group offers its experience in the following fields:    

  • Low temperature thermometry
  • Design and realisation of cryogenic systems
  • Determination of thermal radiative properties of various materials
  • Vacuum techniques
  • Magnetic fields measurement and superconducting magnets design
  • Consulting and training courses in safety in cryogenics

Full profile of the group

Significant grant projects carried out by group members

Cryostat Straps for Athena - Material Characterization (09/2022 - present)

Grantee: Pejchal Tomáš (OHB Czechspace s.r.o.), Frolec Jiří (ISI Brno), Klusák Jan (IPM Brno)

Provider: European Space Agency (ESA)


Non-Oberbeck-Boussinesq effects in turbulent convection in cryogenic helium at high Rayleigh numbers (03/2021 – 12/2023)

Grantee: Macek Michal (ISI Brno), Schumacher Jörg (Technische Universität Ilmenau)

Provider: Czech Science Foundation (GACR)


Interplay of convective heat transfer and turbulent flows with rotation in classical and quantum phases of cryogenic helium (01/2020 – 12/2022)

Grantee: Skrbek Ladislav (Charles University, Prague), Urban Pavel (ISI Brno)

Provider: Czech Science Foundation (GACR)


Quantum-Classical Ultimate Turbulence Analogies in Heat Transfer (10/2018 – 07/2021)

Grantee: Macek Michal (ISI Brno) 

Provider: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS)


Peculiarities of convective flows and heat transport in cryogenic helium (01/2017 – 12/2019)

Grantee: Skrbek Ladislav (Charles University, Prague), Urban Pavel (ISI Brno)

Provider: Czech Science Foundation (GACR)


Support of membership in Science and Technology Council of the International Institute of Refrigeration (03/2017 – 08/2019)

Grantee: Srnka Aleš (ISI Brno) 

Provider: The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MEYS)


Effect of near field on radiative heat transfer at low temperatures (01/2014 – 12/2016)

Grantee: Králík Tomáš (ISI Brno) 

Provider: Czech Science Foundation (GACR)


Cryogenic Rayleigh-Bénard convection at Rayleigh numbers above 1e11 (01/2012 - 12/2014) 

Grantee: Urban Pavel (ISI Brno)

Provider: Czech Science Foundation (GACR) 


Microscale radiative heat transfer at low temperatures (01/2008 – 12/2010) 

Grantee: Musilová Věra (ISI Brno)

Provider: Czech Science Foundation (GACR)