Abstract Resistance thermometry provides a time-tested method for taking temperature measurements that has been painstakingly developed over the last century. However, fundamental limits to resistance-based approaches along with a desire to reduce the cost of sensor ownership and increase sensor stability has produced considerable interest in developing photonic temperature sensors. Here we demonstrate that silicon photonic crystal cavity-based thermometers can measure temperature with uncertainities of 175 mK (k = 1), where uncertainties are dominated by ageing effects originating from the hysteresis in the device packaging materials. Our results, a ≈4-fold improvement over recent developments, clearly demonstate the rapid progress of silicon photonic sensors in replacing legacy devices. Highlights We present uncertainty analysis of a packaged photonic thermometer. Photonic sensors with Q's of 104 are sufficient for temperature measurements with uncertainties of »40 mK Long-term drift limits packaged photonic thermometers uncertainty to 175 mK.
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