Vernier Software and Technology
Vernier Software & Technology

Surface Temperature Sensor User Manual

Surface Temperature Sensor

The Surface Temperature Sensor is designed for use in situations in which low thermal mass or flexibility is required. Special features include an exposed thermistor that results in an extremely rapid response time.

Typical uses for the Surface Temperature Sensor include the following:

  • Skin temperature measurements
  • Human respiration studies
  • Specific heat experiments
  • Heat transfer experiments
  • Friction and energy studies

Note: Vernier products are designed for educational use. Our products are not designed nor are they recommended for any industrial, medical, or commercial process such as life support, patient diagnosis, control of a manufacturing process, or industrial testing of any kind.

What's Included

  • Vernier Surface Temperature Sensor

Compatible Software and Interfaces

The Surface Temperature Sensor may require a compatible interface and software. Choose a platform below to see compatible interface and software options.

Getting Started

  1. Connect the sensor to the interface (LabQuest Mini, LabQuest 2, etc.).
  2. Start the appropriate data-collection software (Logger Pro, Logger Lite, LabQuest App) if not already running, and choose New from File menu.

The software will identify the sensor and load a default data-collection setup. You are now ready to continue your experiment.

If you are collecting data using a Chromebook™, mobile device such as iPad® or Android™ tablet, or a Vernier wireless sensor or interface, please see the following link for up-to-date connection information:

Using the Product

Connect the sensor following the steps in the Getting Started section of this user manual.

The Surface Temperature Sensor is for use in air and water only. For temperature measurements in harsher environments that require a more durable probe, we recommend our Stainless Steel Temperature Probe (order code TMP-BTA).



It should not be necessary to perform a calibration when using this sensor. It is calibrated before it ships. However, you can calibrate the sensor using Logger Pro 3.3. or newer. Note: Calibration can only be done on computers running Logger Pro. For more information, see


Temperature range

–25 to 125°C (–13 to 275°F)

Maximum temperature that the sensor can tolerate without damage


13-bit resolution

  • 0.04°C (–25 to 0°C)
  • 0.02°C (0 to 40°C)
  • 0.05°C (40 to 100°C)
  • 0.13°C (100 to 125°C)
  • 0.08°C (–25 to 0°C)

12-bit resolution

  • 0.08°C (–25 to 0°C)
  • 0.03°C (0 to 40°C)
  • 0.1°C (40 to 100°C)
  • 0.25°C (100 to 125°C)

10-bit resolution

  • 0.32°C (–25 to 0°C)
  • 0.12°C (0 to 40°C)
  • 0.4°C (40 to 100°C)
  • 1.0°C (100 to 125°C)

Temperature sensor

20 kΩ NTC Thermistor


±0.2°C at 0°C, ±0.5°C at 100°C

Response time
(time for 90% change in reading)

50 seconds (in still air)

  • 20 seconds (in moving air)

Probe dimensions: probe length (handle plus body)

  • 15.5 cm

How the Sensor Works

This probe uses the 20 kΩ NTC Thermistor, which is a variable resistor. When the temperature increases, the resistance decreases non-linearly. The best-fit approximation to this nonlinear characteristic is the Steinhart-Hart equation. At 25°C, the resistance is approximately 4.3% per °C. The interface measures the resistance value, R, at a particular temperature and converts the resistance using the Steinhart-Hart equation:

T = [K0 + K1(ln 1000R) + K2(ln 1000R)3]-1 – 273.15

where T is temperature (°C), R is the measured resistance in kΩ, Ko =1.02119 × 10-3, K1 = 2.22468 × 10-4, and K2 = 1.33342 × 10-7. Our programs perform this conversion and provide readings in °C (or other units, if you load a different calibration).


First check that the sensor is responding: Connect the sensor and start the data‑collection program. Hold the tip of the sensor in your hand to warm it and check that the temperature changes.

For additional troubleshooting and FAQs, see

Repair Information

If you have watched the related product video(s), followed the troubleshooting steps, and are still having trouble with your Surface Temperature Sensor, contact Vernier Technical Support at or call 888-837-6437. Support specialists will work with you to determine if the unit needs to be sent in for repair. At that time, a Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA) number will be issued and instructions will be communicated on how to return the unit for repair.


Vernier warrants this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of five years from the date of shipment to the customer. This warranty does not cover damage to the product caused by abuse or improper use. This warranty covers educational institutions only.

Contact Support

Fill out our online support form or call us toll-free at 1-888-837-6437.

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