The IPKM research infrastructure includes the electronics and precision mechanics workshops, IT support and the helium liquefaction plant. For information on the labs and equipment of our groups, please refer to the group websites.

Electronics Workshop

The team of the IPKM's electronics workshop maintains and looks after the electronic equipment in the laboratories and, to some extent, the building technology. In addition, user-specific devices are developed together with researchers and the precision mechanics workshop.

The workshop integrates theory and practical application by facilitating dual training: We work in concert with local vocational schools to exercise theoretical concepts through individual projects.

  Name Contact
Electronics Workshop in Campus-Navi
Klaus Weber
Head of Electronics Workshop
+49 6151 16-21535
S2|05 106
Ibrahim El-Idrisi
+49 6151 16-21534
S2|05 104
Dipl.-Ing. (FH) Florian Scheer
+49 6151 16-21534
S2|05 107
Christine Weber
+49 6151 16-21534
S2|05 104

Precision Mechanics Workshop

Our team carries out all precision mechanical work and repairs for the institute's experimental working groups. The workshop is partly involved in the development of apparatuses and precision mechanical devices in teamwork with the group technicians of the institute.

Furthermore, apparatuses for the lectures and the lab courses are provided.

  Name Contact
Precision Mechanics Workshop in Campus-Navi
Dirk Oppermann
Head Mechanical-Workshop
+49 6151 16-23509
S2|14 49
Sebastian Kauck
+49 6151 16-23509
S2|14 44
Heinz-Jürgen Roth
+49 6151 16-23509
S2|14 49

IT support

We take care of the central IT infrastructure at the IPKM. In addition to support in the offices and laboratories, we also offer support and provision of various network services.

  Name Contact
IPKM IT Team in Campus-Navi
IT-Administration IPKM
S2|07 79

Helium liquefaction

A central helium facility for the entire TU Darmstadt has existed for over fifty years and is traditionally located at the Institute for Condensed Matter Physics (formerly Solid State Physics).

After several predecessor plants from ADL, Philips and Linde, the institute has been operating a TCF 20 liquefier from Linde since 1995. The plant was modernised in 2018 by the company Vorbuchner.

  Name Working area(s) Contact
Helium liquefaction plant in Campus-Navi
S2|04 101
Markus Lohnes
+49 6151 16-20549
S2|04 101
Liquid helium tanks
Liquid helium tanks

For cost reasons, the condenser is operated exclusively with liquid nitrogen (LN2) for precooling. The central condenser supplies ten institutes in Darmstadt.

The liquefaction capacity, stated in litres of LHe dispensed in dewars, was about 32,000 litres per year in the past years. Liquefaction capacities of 80,000 litres per year have even been achieved. The helium stock at the plant is 7,000 litres, which is purified and liquefied in the plant as liquid helium (LHe) at a value of about 17 € per litre (purchase price). The costs for liquefaction amount to 0.42 € per litre. The gas losses of the LHe users vary between 1% and 6% depending on the care of the users and operating conditions.

The helium from the centrally located institutes that evaporates at the users is returned to the recompression plant via pipelines about four kilometres long. The more distant institutes return their helium gas compressed in cylinder bundles.

Plant components

  • Liquefier TCF 20 with a liquefaction capacity of 27 or 54 litres per hour
  • Condenser DS 170 with a power drain of 100 kW
  • Oil separation and oil adsorbent
  • Gas adjustment station and gas dryer
  • Storage tanks for 2,600 respectively 1,100 litres of liquid helium
  • Clean gas storage tank for 5m3
  • LN2-tank for 11m3

Recycling components

  • 2 gas balloons with a volume of 10 m3 each for collecting the recycled helium
  • 3 compressors, each capable of compressing 40 m3 per hour
  • HD filter combination
  • Seccant high pressure compressor
  • 5 high pressure tanks for a total of 17 m3
  • 2 bundling stations for a total of 12 gas cylinder bundles
  • 2 feeding stations for filling and emptying cylinders
  • Clean gas feed into the helium network of the TU Darmstadt

Building services

  Name Working area(s) Contact
Thomas Geistlinger-Miehle
+49 6151 16-24975
S2|07 016
Guido Kikowatz
+49 6151 16-24975
S2|07 016
Andreas Koderhand
+49 6151 16-24975
S2|07 016