What are the different types of temperature sensors?

Temperature sensing starts from your own home, you must have used a thermometer to monitor your body’s temperature whenever you’ve been ill.

There are different types of temperature sensors used in the market today. Such sensors come in different sizes, but they all have one thing in common: they all calculate temperature by sensing a change in the physical characteristics. This post outlines the basic information that you need to know about the different types of temperature sensors that are used most commonly today in the industry.

Temperature is one of the most commonly measured variables and it is therefore not surprising that there are many ways of sensing it. Temperature sensing can be done either through direct contact with the heating source or remotely, without direct contact with the source using radiated energy instead.
Temperature, either in process industries or in laboratory applications, is the most commonly measured physical parameter. Exact measurements are key to performance. Exact measurements are required for many applications including medical applications, laboratory materials research, electronic or electrical component studies, biological research, and geological studies. Temperature sensors are most commonly used for measuring temperature in circuits that control a variety of equipment.

What does Temperature Sensor mean?

We remember from our school science lessons that the movements of molecules and atoms produce heat because of kinetic energy and the greater the motion, the more heat is produced. Temperature sensors measure the amount of heat or even cold produced by an object or system that allows us to “feel” or monitor physical changes at that temperature and gives an analog or digital output.

Temperature sensors are devices, usually RTD (temperature resistant detectors), thermocouples or semiconductor-based IC’s, thermistors that collect temperature data from a particular source and convert the data into a form that can be understood by the device or the observer. Temperature sensors are used in many applications, e.g. in environmental control of HVAC systems, in food production plants, in medical devices, in chemical services, and in vehicles and control systems, etc.

Types of Temperature Sensors

Depending on their range of application, there are different kinds of temperature sensors, which have the capabilities for sensing. Some types of temperature sensors are as follows:

  • Resistor temperature detectors(RTD)
  • Thermocouples
  • Semiconductor sensors
  • Thermistor

Resistor temperature detectors(RTD):

RTD is a precision temperature sensor made from high-purity metals such as platinum, copper, or nickel, which are wrapped around a coil and whose electrical resistance turns into temperature like a thermistor. Thin-film RTD is also available. This device has a thin layer of platinum paste applied to a white ceramic substrate.

Image of Long Range IoT Wireless RTD Temperature Sensor

There are several types of temperature measurement techniques that use this RTD. There are two-wire, three-wire, and four-wire method. With the two-wire method, the current is forced through the resistance thermometer to measure the voltage obtained. This method is very easy to connect but the main disadvantage is that – line resistance is part of the measurement that leads to the wrong measurement.

The three-wire method is similar to the two-wire method, but the third conductor compensates for line resistance. With the four-wire method, the current is forced into one wire and the voltage is felt on the other set of cables. This four-wire method fully compensates for line resistance.


The Thermocouple is by far the most widely used type among all types of temperature sensors. Because of its simplicity, ease of use and its speed of response to temperature changes, the thermocouples are especially popular because of their small size. Thermocouples also have the widest temperature range of all temperature sensors from -200 ° C to more than 2000 ° C.


This sensor is very powerful, inexpensive, independent and can be used for long distances. There are many types of temperature sensors that have a variety of applications.
Thermocouples are voltage devices that display temperature by measuring voltage changes. It consists of two different metals: open and closed. These metals work according to the principle of the thermoelectric effect. When two different metals produce voltage, there is a thermal difference between the two metals. As the temperature increases, the thermocouple output voltage also increases.

This thermocouple sensor is usually sealed in a ceramic or metal shield that protects it from different environments. Some common types of thermocouples include K, J, T, R, E, S, N, and B. The most common types of thermocouples are J, T, and K.

Below is the list of our Thermocouple sensors.

MCP9600 K-Type Thermocouple I2C Mini Module


2 Channel Industrial IoT Wireless Thermocouple Temperature Sensor


3 Channel Industrial IoT Wireless Thermocouple Temperature Sensor


Industrial IoT Wireless Predictive Maintenance Sensor


Semiconductor sensors:

Semiconductor sensors are devices that are available in the form of ICs. These sensors are known as IC temperature sensors. They are divided into several types: current output, voltage output, resistance output silicon temperature sensor, diode temperature sensor, and temperature sensor digital output. Current semiconductor temperature sensors offer high linearity and high accuracy in operating ranges from around 55 ° C to + 150 ° C. However, the LM35 temperature sensor is the most popular temperature sensor. A brief breakdown of the types of temperature sensors is given below.

  • Sensor IC’s

Various IC temperature sensors are available to simplify the most diverse challenges in temperature monitoring. This silicon temperature sensor differs significantly from the types mentioned above in several important points. The first is the operating temperature range. The IC temperature sensor can be operated in the nominal temperature range from -55 ° C to + 150 ° C. The second main difference is functionality.

The silicon temperature sensor is an integrated circuit and therefore contains a broad signal processing circuit in the same house as the sensor. You don’t need to add a compensation circuit for the ICS temperature sensor. Some of them are analog circuits with voltage or current output. Others combine analog sensor circuits with voltage comparators to provide a warning function. Several other integrated sensors combine the analog sensor circuit with digital I / O controls and registers, making it the ideal solution for microprocessor systems.

An example of a temperature sensor is LM35. The LM35 series is a precision sensor for integrated circuits, the output voltage is proportional to Celsius temperature. LM35 works at -55 ° C to + 120 ° C.

  • Digital Temperature Sensors

Within the application, digital temperature sensors remove the need for external hardware, such as an A / D converter, and there is no need to calibrate components or the device at different reference temperatures when using thermistors.

The benefits of a digital temperature sensor with its accurate performance in degrees Celsius. The sensor output is a digital reading that is balanced. This does not involve a single thermistor with a non-linear resistance, which provides variations in temperature and does not involve any other component such as an analog to the digital converter.

Below is the partial list of our Semiconductorssensors. Click here for the complete list.

AD7416ARZ 10-Bit Temperature Sensor I2C Mini Module


TMP112 Temperature Sensor ±.5°C 12-Bit I2C Mini Module


TCN75A Temperature Sensor ±0.5°C 12-Bit with 3 Address Lines I2C Mini Module


IoT Wireless TVOC CO2eq Temperature Humidity Gas Sensor


  • Thermistor

The thermistor temperature sensor is a type of sensor that is a relatively low cost, efficient and simple-to-use. If the temperature changes such as the RTD sensor, it adjusts its resistance. Manganese and nickel oxides are used to make thermistors, which make them susceptible to damage. Such materials are therefore referred to as ceramic materials. This thermistor is more sensitive than RTD’s. The coefficient of temperature for most thermistors is negative. This means that the resistance decreases when the temperature increases.

Temperature Sensor Thermistor 10K OHM 1%


Temperature Sensor Thermistor 10K OHM ±3% PROBE

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