Does a Standalone, "Cold" (Low-Thermal-Noise), Linear Resistor Exist Without Cooling? Academic Article uri icon


  • Classical ways of cooling require some of these elements: phase transition, compressor, nonlinearity, valve and/or switch. A recent example is the 2018 patent of Linear Technology Corporation; they utilize the shot noise of a diode to produce a standalone nonlinear resistor that has [Formula: see text]/2 noise temperature (about 150[Formula: see text]K). While such resistor can cool its environment when it is AC coupled to a resistor, the thermal cooling effect is only academically interesting. The importance of the invention is of another nature: In low-noise electronics, it is essential to have resistors with low-noise temperature to improve the signal-to-noise ratio. A natural question is raised: can we use a linear system with feedback to cool and, most importantly, to show reduced noise temperature? Exploring this problem, we were able to produce standalone linear resistors showing strongly reduced thermal noise. Our must successful test shows [Formula: see text]/100 (about 3[Formula: see text]K) noise temperature, as if the resistor would have been immersed in liquid helium. We also found that there is an old solution offering similar results utilizing the virtual ground of an inverting amplifier at negative feedback. There, the cold resistor is generated at the input of an amplifier. On the other hand, our system generates the cold resistance at the output, which can have practical advantages.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Song, J., & Kish, L. B.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Song, Jiaao||Kish, Laszlo B

publication date

  • January 2015