Center for Cryogenic Technology has been meeting the demands for liquid helium and liquid nitrogen in the Institute. It has got two liquid nitrogen plants with total production capacity of 100 litre/hour and one liquid nitrogen plant of capacity 18 litre/hour. The Centre supplies about 4.25 lakh litres of liquid nitrogen per year and 30,000 litres of liquid helium per year. In addition to meeting the demands of the Institute, the Centre is also involved in developing technologies related to cryogenics, and has obtained patents also.
Nitrogen and helium, both are gases at room temperature. However, if the temperature is sufficiently lowered, they attain liquid state. Nitrogen becomes a liquid at -195.8 C and helium at -268.9 C. Attaining such temperatures is not straightforward, and it is indeed a separate science.
Many of the experiments carried out in the various departments of the Institute require the sample to be maintained at extremely low temperatures. To meet such extreme conditions, the samples under study are immersed in liquid nitrogen or liquid helium, depending on the temperature required.