Examples of current interests include developing adjustable phase shifters for pulse tube refrigerators, investigating the formation of solid cryogens in cryopumps, defining performance maps for cryogenic regenerative heat exchangers, studying the behavior of cryogenic pulsating heat pipes, and exploring the possible use of cryogenics to capture CO2 and pollutants from the effluent of coal-fired power plants. His research explores the development and application of refrigeration cycles, material properties, and thermal design, all at low temperatures.Cryogenic refrigeration cycles, (cryocoolers) of particular interest include pulse tube refrigerators, mixed-gas Joule-Thomson refrigerators, and various hybrid coolers. Professor Pfotenhauer also explores the integration of cryocoolers for cooling superconducting magnets and electronics, for processing and storing cryogens, and for space applications. He applies the fundamental principles of heat transfer, thermodynamics, and fluid dynamics to address the unique challenges that are encountered in these exciting low temperature applications. Professor Pfotenhauer also co-directs the research activities in the Cryogenics Laboratory.
Prof. Pfotenhauer on YouTube