Demystifying Thermopile Sensors

T.K. Hareendran is founder and promoter of TechNode Protolabz—an electronics R&D Lab


Maintenance and handling

Since thermopile sensors are static-sensitive, unused sensors must be stored in a conductive material for protection against static discharges and static fields. Stresses above those listed under absolute maximum ratings and reversed polarity of power supply damage the sensor. Also, thermopile sensors should not be exposed to direct sunlight or moisture. Be careful when you handle these sensors, and avoid touching their window. Oil from your fingers and dust or dirt may adversely affect the performance of the sensor. In such cases, the optical window (filter and lens) can be cleaned with alcohol and a cotton swab.

Fig. 8: TMP006 board image

In summary, being able to read the temperature of an object without even touching it is simply awesome. Thermopile sensors can do just that. No doubt, thermopile infrared temperature sensors provide the best combination of small size, low power and low cost for non-contact temperature measurements. Fortunately, these are not as trivial to implement as traditional contact based temperature sensors!



  1. The article covers in depth working of Thermopile sensors, with great learning tips. As an instrumentation engineer this article helps me understand more on these type of sensors as applied in industrial measurements.


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