Our Laboratory

Step into HELIOS cutting-edge laboratory aimed at the development and characterization of new, groundbreaking passive cooling materials to counteract urban overheating.

Climatic chamber with solar simulator

A climatic chamber is a cutting-edge controlled environment system designed for replicating diverse climatic scenarios within a controlled laboratory environment. Our ATT DM340 SR model offers precise control over temperature, ranging from -20°C to +120°C, and relative humidity levels from 5% to 95%. Furthermore, it is equipped with a BF SUN 1200W solar simulator capable of reproducing up to 1200 W/m2 of irradiation. The chamber plays a pivotal role in evaluating how adaptive materials perform in various environmental conditions to assess their durability, performance, and behavior for radiative cooling applications, both under typical and extreme scenarios.

Temperature and humidity controlled cabinet

Our MATEST C313-01N climatic cabinet allows for the control of temperature and relative humidity inside its internal compartment. The temperature range goes from -30°C to 70°C, while humidity can vary between 20% to 95%. The chamber plays a pivotal role in assessing how materials with common or peculiar properties perform in terms of durability and thermal behavior when subjected to a wide range of conditions, spanning from typical to extreme.

Climatic chamber with solar simulator and pressure control

The ATT UD150SR C climatic chamber is a controlled environment system used for simulating various climatic conditions in a controlled laboratory setting. Our model enables precise manipulation of temperature (-20°C +120°C), relative humidity (5-95%), and air pressure (from 1 mbar to Patm), and it is equipped with a solar simulator capable of reproducing up to 1200 W/m2 of irradiation. The chamber is crucial in testing the durability, performance, and behavior of adaptive materials for radiative cooling, under common and extreme conditions, replicating everything from arctic to desert climates.

UV/VIS/NIR Spectrophotometer

The Lambda 1050+ spectrophotometer is a device designed to evaluate the main optical characteristics of materials by projecting a concentrated beam of light onto the sample using a halogen lamp. Operating in the ultraviolet (UV), visible (VIS) and near-infrared (NIR) spectral domains, it covers frequencies from 200 to 2500 nm using the PMT / InGaas detector module. To improve accuracy, the spectrophotometer incorporates a 150-mm integrating sphere, which enables comprehensive evaluation of reflectance (including or excluding specular) and transmission.

Differential Scanning Calorimeter (DSC)

This instrument measures the heat flow through a sample as it undergoes controlled temperature changes. It is essential in characterizing phase transitions and chemical reactions, by detecting the energy changes associated with such processes. The DSC 214 Polyma by NETZSCH company allows to scan the sample from -170°C to 600°C, according to a heating/cooling rate ranging from 0.001 K/min to 500 K/min.

Profilometer

NANOVEA Optical Profiler is a 3D, non-contact profilometer designed with Chromatic Confocal technology. A white light beam passes through a series of lenses with a high degree of chromatic aberrations (optical pen, range: 300 µm – 3 mm). Each wavelength will focus at a different distance creating the vertical measurement range. When a surface of interest is within that range, a single wavelength of the white light will be in focus while all others will be out of focus. Only the focused wavelength will pass through the pinhole filter to reach the spectrometer. The physical wavelength measured corresponds to a vertical position.

FTIR Spectrometer

The PerkinElmer Spectrum™ 3 FT-IR spectrometer is used to obtain an infrared spectrum of absorption or reflectance in mid, near, and far infrared ranges. The fourier-transform spectroscopy technique shines a beam containing many frequencies of light at once and measures how much of that beam is absorbed by the sample. For the MIR measurements (2.5-20 µm), the instrument is equipped with a mercury cadmium telluride (MCT) detector and a Pike Technologies MID-IR IntegratIR gold-coated Lambertian sphere (76.2 mm).

Thermogravimetric Analyzer (TGA)

Thermogravimetric analysis is a method of thermal analysis in which the mass of a sample is measured over time as the temperature changes. The NETZSCH STA 2500 Regulus is capable of detecting both caloric (e.g., phase transition temperatures, modification changes, reactivity) and thermogravimetric (e.g., mass changes, temperature stability, decomposition, oxidation/reduction) effects. Measurements can be performed in inert and oxidizing atmospheres but also under vacuum. The atmosphere can be dynamic or static. The built-in mass flow controllers (MFCs) are software-controlled and allow gas changes at any time during the test.

Spectroradiometer coupled with a specially designed integrating sphere

The JETI Specbos 1211-UV spectroradiometer is generally used for radiance and irradiance spectral measurements. In collaboration with the manufacturer, we have developed an integrating sphere that matches with the spectroradiometer to measure the luminous flux of light-emitting materials, like photoluminescent ones. The sphere has a diameter of 30 mm and is equipped with a system of LEDs that allows for the excitation of the samples at various specific wavelengths. The combined control of LEDs and spectroradiometer guarantees a precise detection of the spectral distribution of the material’s luminous flux and the continuous monitoring of its decay (up to 0.01 lm).

Praying Mantis for spectrophotometer

The Praying Mantis accessory is designed specifically for the examination of diffuse reflectance spectroscopy. It can be used for reflectance analysis of powder or solid samples. Combined with the Lambda 1050+ spectrophotometer, this instrument allows the study of materials in controlled environments with the compatible reaction chamber. The low-temperature reaction chamber allows operation in a temperature range of -150°C to 600°C under vacuum conditions.

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