About UscondenZero was founded 2019 as a spin-off company of the Laboratory for Quantum Matter Research of the University of Zurich in Switzerland. Our field of expertise includes the development and production of scientific instruments and components for research applications in ultra-high vacuum and cryogenic conditions.
Dr. Denys Sutter
Physics Lab Technician
Dr. Amelia Estry
Prof. Johan Chang
Intern from ETH
The Swiss Free Electron Laser (SwissFEL) facility is poised to revolutionize our understanding of ultrafast photochemistry, photobiology, and condensed matter dynamics. For x-ray diffraction experiments on quantum matter systems in pulsed magnetic fields (image to the left), no off-the-shelf product could meet the harsh conditions of low temperatures and compact dimensions. Responding to these demands, Dominik Biscette developed a novel cryostat design. By spring 2017, the first prototype was produced, surpassing the desired functionality (see the cool-down curve below). This new design achieved a lower base temperature, faster cooling rate, and reduced physical dimensions, outperforming existing cryostats. In 2019, a patent application for the design principle was filed, and the same year saw the founding of condenZero. The company aims to implement this cutting-edge cryostat technology for cryo-TEM sample holders and other scientific instruments.
New office location
Robin joins condenZero
Similar to Damian, we had known Robin when he worked together with us during his apprenticeship at ETH Zurich
as a physics laboratory technician. As an excellent technical allrounder, we are excited to bring him into the team until the end of this year.
Damian joins condenZero
where we continued to work with him regularly. Damian has a broad background in laboratory work in all aspects, such as CAD design, manufacturing & production and is a strong addition to our team.
Helium transfer line
On the crudest level, a helium transfer line serves to transport liquid helium between two reservoirs. For our TEM
holder, however, the transfer line and cryostat specifications are intimately linked. Vibrations and helium flow control are crucial for successful cryo-microscopy. To optimise these specifications, we have developed a custom-made helium transfer line.
Lighter and slimmer
From these tests, we found that the driving motors of the Compu Stage were just about strong enough to move the holder. To stay away from this motor strength limit, we have designed our 4th generation holder two times lighter. Our current G4 holder is now weighing only 200 g.
Swiss Innovation Challenge
Our cryo-TEM holder relies on a manually operated helium flow circuit. This circuit is now electronically automated such that the cryo-TEM holder can be operated remotely. This is especially useful for TEM users as the absence of humans near the microscope reduces vibrations and is detrimental to high-resolution measurements. Our remote helium flow controller can, however, be helpful for any flow cryostat.
CERN BIC & Park Innovaare
We are looking forward to advancing our cryogenic technology for electron microscopy together with cryo-experts from the CERN and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI). With Park Innovaare infrastructure, condenZero can strengthen its ties to the PSI and test new cryo-TEM products in a mutually beneficial fashion.
Lowering helium consumption
100 fürs Baselbiet
Part of our (sub-contracting) manufacturing will be carried out by Basel-located workshops. The Basellandschaftliche Kantonalbank (BLKB) and the Standortförderung Baselland offer favourable loans through the “100 fürs Baselbiet” program, for which condenZero could qualify.
Venture Kick won
Today, Venture Kick announced condenZero is a final stage winner! We are greatly honoured by this decision. Certainly this is an important milestone. We are very much looking forward to the next Kickers Camp.
It is with great excitement and honour that we announce our participation in the ESA BIC CH program. We are very much looking forward to developing our connection to space related industries. In particular, we wish to accelerate the use of advanced additive manufacturing technologies for space applications.
We are grateful to Innosuisse for their decision to help and support condenZero via the core coaching program. On this three-year program, we aim to grow and consolidate. In the first year period, we will be working on our first sales campaign, financial structures and advance our IP strategy.
Eleven young researchers were awarded the Proof-of-Concept grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) & Innosuisse. With the project to make a new cryogenics tool for transmission electron microscopy, condenZero is among the selected projects.
While working on a pulsed magnetic field setup for diffraction experiments at SwissFel, Dominik Biscette invented a new type of cryostat. This paved the way for the cryo-TEM development underpinning the activities of condenZero.
End of 2018, Denys Sutter has been awarded a UZH BioTech-MedTech Entrepreneur Fellowship from the Werner Siemens Foundation to develop a new type of cryo-sample holder for transmission electron microscopy.