Relaxation calorimetry technique for measuring low temperature specific heat

R. W. Newsome, Jr. and E. Y. Andrei
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Rutgers University, Piscataway, New Jersey 08855

(Received 6 June 2003; accepted 15 October 2003)

A rudimentary calorimeter was constructed to measure the temperature dependence of the specific heat of a 10 µ thick (0.62 mg) copolymer film of vinylidene fluoride and trifluoroethylene in the previously unexplored vicinity of 6 K. The data were processed with the algorithm developed by Hwang et al. [Rev. Sci. Instrum. 68, 94 (1997)] as modified for our configuration in which a Cernox thermometer also served as a heater. The measurements extended from 3.75 to 8.5 K, with a temperature resolution of 0.2 K, and the ratios of the statistical uncertainties to the mean values deduced for cp are ± 3% over most of this temperature range. The data taken with the intermediate resolution of this calorimeter provides evidence for the absence of any slowly varying anomaly in the temperature dependence of cp. Such rudimentary systems provide a useful option to gather exploratory information at a comparatively low cost for components. ©2004 American Institute of Physics.