# How does a high amperage (100 Amps or more) MOSFET handle the current flow without overheating?

High amperage MOSFETs like the 511-STP200N3LL say they can handle 120 Amps of current. Is this possible? If yes, then what prevents the small wires coming out of the device from melting or getting too hot? The package for the specific device I'm referring to is TO-220-3.

Here is a datasheet link: https://www.mouser.com/datasheet/2/389/stp200n3ll-1063226.pdf

• @Ale..chenski: The $I^2$ in $I^2 R$ means squared. $(100A)^2(2\mathrm{m}\Omega) = 20W$. Jan 6, 2019 at 4:31
• Probably it doesn't. IF you can hold the case to 25°C and the leads short (and presumably also at 25°C).. but holding the case and leads to 25°C or anything remotely close to that is impossible in most situations. Jan 6, 2019 at 4:56

The MOSFET is rated to handle that current when sufficiently cooled. The hole in the tab at the top of the chip facilitates use of a machine screw to attach the MOSFET to a heatsink. A MOSFET with a higher current rating will also typically be capable of a low ON resistance comparative to its physical size, and the ON resistance actually achieved will depend on temperature and gate voltage. You can find charts in the datasheet to see exactly what the ON resistance should be at the gate voltage you intend, and use Watt's Law ($$\P=I^2R\$$) to figure out how much power the MOSFET will dissipate at the current you intend. Your heatsink must be capable of dissipating this amount of power while keeping the MOSFET at your intended temperature. There will be a temperature gradient right from the semiconductors in the MOSFET to the extremities of the heatsink, which will be rated by this, in degrees C per Watt.
In the case of your mosfet, installed and cooled as intended, this amounts to $$\120A^2*0.0024 \Omega=34.56W\$$ used by the mosfet to switch 120A at 30V. In reality, switching losses may contribute considerably more to this depending on what you're doing.