Thin Film vs Thick Film Resistors
Thin film resistors and thick film resistors are two types of resistors that are used in electrical and electronic circuits. A resistor is a component that is used to “resist” the flow of current due to a voltage. Thin and thick film resistors are used in applications such as surface mount devices. A good understanding in resistors is required in fields such as electronics, process engineering and electronic parts manufacturing. In this article, we are going to discuss, compare, and differentiate thick film and thin film resistors. The article will cover what thick film resistors and thin film resistors are, how thick film resistors and thin film resistors are manufactured, the applications of thick film and thin film resistors, the materials used to manufacture thick film and thin film resistors, the properties of thick film and thin film resistors, their similarities, and finally the difference between thick film resistors and thin film resistors.
What are thin film resistors?
To understand a thin film resistor one must first understand what a resistor is. Resistance is a very important property in the field of electricity and electronics. The resistance in a qualitative definition tells us how hard it is for an electrical current to flow. In the quantitative sense, the resistance between two points can be defined as the voltage difference that is required to take a unit current across the defined two points. Electrical resistance is the inverse of electrical conduction. The resistance of an object is defined as the ratio of the voltage across the object to the current flowing through it. Resistors are devices that are used to obtain resistance. Every object in existence has a finite value of resistance. Thin film resistors are produced by a process of sputtering the resistive material on the ceramic. Then the surface is etched using ultraviolet exposure and necessary etching methods. The materials used in thin film resistors are tantalum nitride, bismuth ruthnate, ruthenium oxide, lead oxide and nickel chromium. The etched film is then trimmed using lasers.
What are thick film resistors?
Thick film resistors, as their name suggests, have thicker films than the thin film resistors. Thick film resistors are manufactured using the same compounds. But the process of the thick film manufacturing is different from that of the thin film. The thick film resistor is manufactured by mixing the resistive compound with powdered glass and a carrier liquid. The mixture is screen printed to the ceramic. The product is then baked at 850 degrees Celsius, to harden the glass.
What is the difference between Thin Film Resistors and Thick Film Resistors?
• Thin film resistors have a lower tolerance than the thick film resistors.
• The capacitance of thin film resistors is lower than that of the thick film resistors.
• The temperature coefficient of thin film resistors is much lower than that of the thick film resistors.
• The production of thin film resistors is expensive than the production cost of the thick film resistors.
• The process of manufacturing the thin film resistor is different from the manufacturing process of the thick film resistors.