- Silicon bandgap temperature sensor
The silicon bandgap temperature sensor is an extremely common form of temperature sensor (
thermometer) used in electronic equipment. Its main advantage is that it can be included in a silicon integrated circuitat very low cost. The principle of the sensor is that the forward voltage of a silicon diodeis temperature-dependent, according to the following equation::where:"T" = temperature in kelvins:"V""G"0 = bandgapvoltage at absolute zero:"V""BE"0 = bandgap voltage at temperature "T"0 and current "IC"0:"K" = Boltzmann's constant:"q" = charge on an electron:"n" = a device-dependent constantBy comparing the bandgap voltages at two different currents, "IC"1 and "IC"2, many of the variables in the above equation can be eliminated, resulting in the relationship::An electronic circuit, such as the Brokaw bandgap reference, that measures Δ"V""BE" can therefore be used to calculate the temperature of the diode. The result remains valid up to about 200 °C to 250 °C, when leakage currents become large enough to corrupt the measurement. Above these temperatures, materials such as silicon carbidecan be used instead of silicon.
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