Thermistor is a generic term for Thermally Sensitive Resistor, a semiconductor component whose resistance value changes significantly with changes in temperature.
Those with a negative temperature coefficient, whose resistance value decreases with increasing temperature (see Figure 1), are called NTC thermistors.
The resistance value of thermistors varies greatly with temperature, and as shown in Figure 1, the relationship between temperature and resistance value varies exponentially.
The temperature characteristics of a thermistor can be approximated by the relationship between resistance value and temperature over a certain temperature range as shown in Equation 1.
Zero load resistance value refers to the resistance of a thermistor measured at a constant temperature and at a sufficiently low power consumption that changes in resistance due to self-heating can be ignored, and is denoted “R25”. R25 indicates the zero load resistance value at 25℃.
Constant B expresses the magnitude of change in resistance value obtained from the temperatures of any two points in the resistance-temperature characteristic, and is expressed by Equation 2.
When this characteristic is graphed with IogR and 1/T, it can be expressed almost linearly.
Constant B is denoted “B25/85,” where B25/85 indicates the value calculated from the resistance value between two points, 25℃ and 85℃.
The larger Constant B, the larger the slope of the graph, which means that it is easier to detect small temperature changes and is more sensitive to temperature changes.
The heat dissipation constant represents the power required to raise the temperature of a thermistor element by 1℃ in thermal equilibrium through self-heating. It is obtained by the ratio of the power consumption of the thermistor to the temperature rise of the element.
If the power consumption of a thermistor is P(mW), the heat dissipation constant is obtained by Equation 3.
The heat dissipation constant is determined by the material, structure, and size of the thermistor.
When using thermistors for temperature measurement, it is advisable to keep the applied power as low as possible to avoid errors in the measured temperature.
The thermal time constant expresses the time required for the temperature of the thermistor element to change by 63.2% between the initial temperature and the final temperature attained when the ambient temperature of the thermistor is suddenly changed under a zero load condition.
When the thermal time constant (τ) is multiplied by n, the rate of change of the temperature difference is as follows, which means that 95% of the temperature difference changes in about 3 times the thermal time constant.
τ= 63.2% 2τ = 86.5% 3τ = 95.0%
The smaller the thermal time constant, the faster the response speed with respect to temperature change.