Interdigital capacitor as solid 4He height detector

J. Fay, W. Jian, M. Gershenson, H. Kojima

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


A compact interdigital capacitor is developed as a level detector of solid 4He. The capacitor consists of 38 interlaced 50 μm wide and 3.8 mm long gold films separated by 50 μm and deposited onto a flat 5 × 5 mm2 sapphire substrate. The background capacitance is 6.5 pF. The capacitance change is 1.3 × 10-3 pF/mm of solid 4He height change. A height change of 10 μm is detectable. Observations at 1.2 K in a 6.7 × 8.7 × 9.1 mm3 cell show over pressures (measured with a low temperature strain gauge) up to 25 mbar prior to nucleation of solid. The solid height may be controlled by varying heat applied to a pressure bomb cooled to 77 K.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)413-414
Number of pages2
JournalPhysica B: Condensed Matter
StatePublished - May 2003
EventProceedings of the 23rd international conference on low temper - Hiroshima, Japan
Duration: Aug 20 2002Aug 27 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Grinfeld instability
  • Interdigital capacitor
  • Quantum solid


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