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Properties and Uses of Thermistors--- Thermally Sensitive Resistors

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3 Author(s)
J. A. Becker ; Bell Telephone Laboratories, Inc., Murray Hill, N. J. ; C. B. Green ; G. L. Pearson

A new circuit element and control device, the thermistor, or thermally sensitive resistor, is made of solid semiconducting materials whose resistance decreases about four per cent per degree centigrade. The thermistor presents interesting opportunities to the designer and engineer in many fields of technology for accomplishing tasks more simply, economically, and better than with available devices. Part I discusses the conduction mechanism in semiconductors and the criteria for usefulness of circuit elements made from them. The fundamental physical properties of thermistors, their construction, their static and dynamic characteristics, and general principles of operation are treated. Part II of this paper deals with the applications of thermistors. These include: sensitive thermometers and temperature control elements, simple temperature compensators, ultrahigh frequency power meters, automatic gain controls for transmission systems, voltage regulators, speech volume limiters, compressors and expandors, gas pressure gauges and flowmeters, meters for thermal conductivity determination of liquids, and contactless time delay devices, Thermistors with short time constants have been used as sensitive bolometers, and show promise as simple, compact, audiofrequency oscillators, modulators, and amplifiers.

Published in:

Transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers  (Volume:65 ,  Issue: 11 )