APS-ACS Liquid Helium Purchasing Program

Participation Information

LHeP2 is no longer accepting applications for new participants.

To learn more about the program, please contact APS Manager of Science Policy Mark Elsesser.

Gray Arrow Frequently Asked Questions

Reliable and affordable liquid helium procurement is a principle challenge for researchers across the physical sciences and engineering disciplines. As a service to APS members, the APS Office of Public Affairs (OPA), in partnership with the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), has established the Liquid Helium Purchasing Program (LHeP2) to improve liquid helium purchasing for its members who receive federal funding.


DLA, which is permitted to purchase liquid helium via the in-kind program on behalf of any federal grantee, serves as a "broker" for program enrollees. By combining its customers’ needs, DLA substantially increases its purchasing power when negotiating contacts and price. Additionally, DLA offers a more reliable liquid helium procurement route — DLA has established relationships with multiple liquid helium suppliers and their customers are not tied to a single vendor. Further, as a federal agency DLA has better ability to enforce breach of contract penalties.

Results and Testimonials

OPA pilot tested LHeP2 with a small group of researchers with diverse helium needs at seven institutions across the U.S.: Stanford University, Boise State University, West Texas A&M University, University of Memphis, Amherst College, Worcester Polytechnic University and University of New Hampshire. The program enrollees achieved more reliable delivery and an average savings of 15%. LHeP2 expanded in June 2016 to include research groups at 12 research institutions.

Additionally, LHeP2 is helping some of APS’s most vulnerable members procure liquid helium at an affordable price. Professor Catherine Clewett (West Texas A&M) recalls having trouble gaining access to liquid helium prior to joining the program:

“We were concerned because we are both a new customer and a small customer. We had never ordered liquid helium and were finding it difficult to begin a relationship with the major helium companies. The program has ensured that we can get the helium when we need it at a stable cost. We also don’t have to worry about being the last customer to have our order fulfilled when helium is in short supply.”

APS leadership recognizes the program’s value to the community. Added Laura H. Greene, a condensed matter physicist and vice president of APS:

“It is remarkable what the OPA has done on behalf of the scientific community.”

Current Participants

Helium Current Participants

Frequently Asked Questions

Gray Arrow Read FAQ

For More Information

Gray Arrow Email Mark Elsesser

APS Background

Gray Arrow APS Statement on Conservation of Helium

Gray Arrow Energy Critical Elements: Securing Materials for Emerging Technologies
A report from the APS Panel on Public Affairs and the Materials Research Society.