liquid nitrogen cooling a possibility?

Brent.A.Morgan at Brent.A.Morgan at
Tue Jun 12 12:47:17 PDT 2001

I've run CMOS components (an obsolete CMOS op amp from Analog Devices comes
to mind) at cryogenic temperatures.  Some interesting effects are observed
and it is at times required to run Vcc up beyond the normal rating to get
them to work.  Reliability and noise tend to improve at LN2 temps, provided
there is no catastrophic failure (a likely occurrence).

Bipolar components tend not to work at those temperatures due to carrier
freeze out.  This is not a problem for many CMOS components, but the
reasons are less well understood.

I would NEVER submerge an entire motherboard.  As previously noted, the
differential thermal stresses would kill it.  Use another method.


Alan Scheinine <scheinin at> on 06/12/2001 08:51:12 AM

Sent by:  beowulf-admin at

To:   beowulf at
Subject:  Re: liquid nitrogen cooling a possibility?

Silicon does not become a conductor at low temperatures.  It becomes
less conductive, having less themally generated carriers.  The
leakage current becomes less and the wires (a major source of heat)
become more conductive at lower temperature.  However, I do not
know if the field effect transistors will behave normally at low

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