Thermistor Definition

The word thermistor is derived from its description: “thermal sensitive resistor”. Thermistors are passive semiconductors, which produce resistance values dependent on temperature.

A Negative Temperature Coefficient (NTC) thermistor decreases in resistance as its body temperature increases.  In fact, NTC thermistors exhibit two characteristics, which make them extremely useful in a variety of applications. Their change in resistance is predictable and relatively large per degree change in temperature.

Resistance-Temperature (R/T) Curves and Negative Temperature Coefficient

Nine different materials are made, each with its own unique and predictable resistance-temperature characteristics. These characteristics are called “curves”. Thermistors are most often specified by their curve and by their resistance value at 25 0C.

The NTC (Negative Temperature Coefficient) is the negative percentage resistance change per degree C. Our thermistors have NTC values at 25 0C ranging from -3.9%/0C to -6.4%/0C. Resistance values at 25 0C range from 300 ohms t 40 Meg Ohms.  

Thermal Time Constant

The time constant, expressed in seconds, is the time required for a thermistor to indicate 63.2% of a newly impressed temperature. The time constant of a thermistor is you directly affected by the mass of the thermistor and thermal coupling to the environment. An epoxy or phenolic coated thermistor with a 0.095” O.D. will typically have a time constant of 0.75 seconds in stirred oil and 10 seconds in the still air.

Dissipation Constant

Dissipation constant is the power required to raise the temperature of a thermistor 1 0C above the surrounding environment. Power is expressed in watts.  The dissipation constant of a thermistor with a  0.095” O.D., coated with epoxy or phenolic, is typically 13 mW/0C in stirred oil and 2 mW/0C in still air.

Voltage/Current Requirements

Very low current is required for a thermistor being used in temperature measurement,  control or compensation applications. Current levels should typically be less than 100 mA for the thermistor to dissipate “zero power”. As previously discussed, power dissipation for a thermistor in still air is approximately 2mW/0C. Therefore, in order to keep the thermal error (self-heat) below 0.1 0C, the power dissipation must be less than 0.2mW.

Self-heating is desirable in applications such as air flow measurement and liquid level control.  Standard epoxy or phenolic coated thermistors with 0.095” O.D. has a maximum power rating of 30 milliwatts at 25 0C to 1 milliwatt at 100 0C.

Diode Type Thermistor
The DT series thermistor is a thermal sensor in a DO35 package.
Glass Bead NTC Thermistor
Glass sealed radial lead type - Fast response time - High reliability and high moisture proof
High Precision AT Type Thermistors
The HAT series thermistor is a high-precision thermal sensing device.
High Precision NTC Thermistors
The HT thermistor is a high-performance thermal sensing device.
Interchangeable NTC Thermistors
Interchangeable refers to how accurately thermistors quarantee (R/T) curve over a range of temperatures.
Life Sciences and Micro Temperature Probes
These tiny thermistors can be used in Life Science applications that require fast response and small size.
Life Sciences and Minature Temperature Probes
These tiny thermistors can be used in Llife Science applications that require fast response and small size.
Point Matched NTC Thermistors
PM Series thermistors are precision tested at a chosen tolerance to a specific temperature.
Surface Mount Ceramic Type NTC Thermistors
The SM thermistor, the highly reliable thermistors, are characterized by their fast response time, which was made by the way of ceramic process.