Characteristics of Standard Capsule-Type PtCo Resistance Thermometers Between 0.65 K and 25 K

  • T. ShimazakiEmail author
  • T. Nakano
  • S. Takasu
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. TEMPMEKO 2016: Selected Papers of the 13th International Symposium on Temperature, Humidity, Moisture and Thermal Measurements in Industry and Science


Standard capsule-type platinum–cobalt (PtCo) resistance thermometers represent one of the few types of resistance thermometers that have been developed for precise thermometry in the cryogenic temperature range. These thermometers remain sensitive even at 0.65 K, which is the lower limit of the ITS-90. Standard capsule-type rhodium–iron (RhFe) resistance thermometers are another type of resistance thermometer intended for use in this temperature range and have been well characterized and are the de facto standard worldwide. Existing data show RhFe resistance thermometers are more reproducible than the corresponding PtCo resistance thermometer. However, it has become difficult to obtain brand-new standard capsule-type RhFe resistance thermometers since their production was discontinued in the early 2000s. Unfortunately, information regarding the characteristics of standard capsule-type PtCo resistance thermometers is limited compared to that available for RhFe resistance thermometers. In this study, the characteristics of two standard capsule-type PtCo resistance thermometers between 0.65 K and 25 K were investigated. Because the resistance versus temperature curves for these thermometers over this temperature range exhibit two inflection points, setting break points near each of the inflection points was found to be beneficial during polynomial curve fitting to obtain mK-level precision. Special attention was paid to the reproducibility of these thermometers, and it was observed that the reproducibility of one of the thermometers within the cryogenic temperature range was ±0.5 mK over 6 years, while the second thermometer showed a larger variation. Similar trends in the resistance characteristics of the two thermometers were observed at the triple point of water.


\(^{3}\hbox {He}\) Joule–Thomson cryocooler Platinum–cobalt (PtCo) resistance thermometer Pulse tube refrigerator Reproducibility Stability 



The authors wish to thank Mr. T. Kobayashi and Dr. Y. Tanaka of the Chino Corporation for valuable discussions and are also grateful to Dr. H. Nakagawa for providing helpful advice.


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Metrology Institute of Japan (NMIJ)AISTTsukubaJapan

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