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This paper describes the design, modeling, simulation, and fabrication of thick-film segmented thermistors. These thermistors were printed on alumina using negative temperature coefficient 3K3 paste, composed of nanometer powder. Their room temperature resistance was measured versus the number of segments and electrode surface value for the fixed layer thickness and electrode spacing. After that, very large thermistors were printed to serve as both the powerful self-heaters and the heat loss sensors in the thermistor volume air flow meter and anemometer. For an application in AC bridges, impedance Z(f) and insertion loss S21 [dB] of the same largest segmented thermistor were measured using network analyzer HP8752A. Impedance modeling was performed using simple equivalent electrical circuit with circuit parameters estimated by fitting procedure (traditional approach), as well as using a commercial electromagnetic simulation program microwave office (MWO, novel approach). This was followed by the modeling of electrical current distribution over a number of segments done within the MWO. The results obtained from simulations and measurements were mutually compared.
Date of Publication: Oct. 2007