Sunday, November 18, 2018

MEMs oscillator sensitivity to helium (helium kills iPhones)

I tested the 32KHz MEMs oscillator used in some phones, and discovered that just a 2% helium environment will cause the oscillator to fail.  I also do a teardown of the MEMs device, and inspect it under the electron microscope.

iFixit blog post:  and vid:

Original thread about MRI facility and iPhone failure on Reddit:

MEMs silicon encapsulation:

Applied Science on Patreon:


  1. Dear Mr. Ben Krasnow ,

    Hello, and warm greetings from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

    I am very impressed with your otherwise famous channel ,
    your passion for experimenting, and the quality of your
    scientific insight into how physical phenomena work.
    Among other scientists, my hero is Michael Faraday.

    Dear Ben, I wonder if you would be interested
    in trying to perform one of my experiment?

    They are all simple and cheap, and I hope
    you might find one of them worth trying :

    Unfortunately, I have neither the means,
    nor any technical talent for performing experiments. :-((

    Should you have any questions,
    please do not hesitate to ask me.

    Looking forward to hear from you !!

    With respect and much gratitude, I am
    Sincerely yours,