TUTORIAL TUESDAY: Sensor tutorials – Thermistors! A thermistor is a thermal resistor – a resistor that changes its resistance with temperature. Technically, all resistors are thermistors – their resistance changes slightly with temperature – but the change is usually very very small and difficult to measure. Thermistors are made so that the resistance changes drastically with temperature so that it can be 100 ohms or more of change per degree!
There are two kinds of of thermistors, NTC (negative temperature coefficient) and PTC (positive temperature coefficient). In general, you will see NTC sensors used for temperature measurement. PTC’s are often used as resettable fuses – an increase in temperature increases the resistance which means that as more current passes thru them, they heat up and ‘choke back’ the current, quite handy for protecting circuits!