Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Resistor High-Frequency Performance

High-frequency performance of resistors is approximated by the schematic shown below:

Resistors are typically one of three types: wire-wound, carbon composition, and film. It does not take a lot of imagination to understand how wire-wound resistors can become inductive because they are coils of resistive wire. Most designers are not aware of the internal construction of film resistors, which are also coils of thin metallic film. Therefore, film resistors are also inductive at high frequencies. The inductance of film resistors is lower, however, and values under 2 kΩ are usually suitable for high frequency work.

The end caps of resistors are parallel, and there will be an associated capacitance. Usually, the resistance will make the parasitic capacitor so “leaky” that the capacitance does not matter. For very high resistances, the capacitance will appear in parallel with the resistance, lowering its impedance at high frequencies.

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