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Magnetic sensors play a key role in a variety of applications, such as speed and position sensing in the automotive industry or in biomedical applications. Within the framework of the Christian Doppler Laboratory "Advanced Magnetic Sensing and Materials" headed by Dieter Süss novel magnetic sensors have been realized that surpass conventional technologies in performance and accuracy in a cooperation between the University of Vienna, the Danube University Krems and Infineon AG. The researchers present the new development in the latest issue of the journal Nature Electronics.
Many modern technological applications are based on magnetic forces, e.g. to move components in electric vehicles or to store data on hard disks. Yet magnetic fields are also used as sensors to detect other magnetic fields. The total market for magnetic field sensors based on semiconductor technology currently amounts to USD 1,670 million and continues to grow. In the automotive industry, for example, more precise magnetic field sensors are used in ABS systems which can be used to detect the tire pressure. This eliminates the need for additional pressure sensors in the tires and saves resources and costs. The use of new magnetoresistive sensor technologies such as anisotropic magnetoresistance, giant magnetoresistance and tunnel magnetoresistance is driven primarily by their increased sensitivity and improved integration capability.
Core - Field - Sensors - Element - Signals
The core of novel magnetic field sensors is a microstructured ferromagnetic thin-film element that can convert magnetic signals. This so-called transducer element changes its electrical behavior as soon as a magnetic field is applied from the outside; the atomic "compass needles," the atomic magnetic dipoles, are realigned and thus change the electrical resistance of the transducer element. This behavior is used to determine the magnetic fields.
The position of the center of the vortex is proportional to the applied magnetic field and serves...
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