In 2005 Rob Blaauwgeers (PhD physics, Leiden University / Helsinki University of Technology) was hired by the renowned Low Temperature Laboratory (LTL) at Helsinki University of Technology (now known as the Low Temperature Laboratory at Aalto University) to move and upgrade all of their dilution refrigerators systems. One of the tasks was to construct a versatile, fully automated gas handling system capable of working in combination with all the different dilution refrigerator systems. At the same time Rob started to develop the first cryogen-free dilution refrigerator system for the LTL.
In the summer of 2006 the newly developed gas handling system underwent first tests in combination with the first prototype of the cryogen-free dilution refrigerator system. It became immediately apparent how simple and easy it was to operate the fully automated cryogen-free (“dry”) dilution refrigerator system as compared to a conventional “wet” dilution refrigerator system. The great interest that followed lead to the business idea of commercializing these systems.
Rob contacted study friend and cryogenic engineer Pieter Vorselman (MSc physics, Leiden University). Together they optimized the automated cryogen-free dilution refrigerator system for reliability, ease-of-use and performance. In 2007 the first system was taken into use by the NANO group of the LTL and shortly after in 2008 BlueFors (Blaauwgeers-Vorselman) Cryogenics was founded.
BlueFors quickly established itself as a market leader in the field of cryogen-free ultra-low temperature systems. The company is today known as Bluefors Oy with over 250 employees and has an annual revenue of approximately 80 million euro.