Nanomagnetism deals with magnetic phenomena in nanoscale structures, involving processes at the atomic level. Magnetic sensors, which exhibit the surprising giant magnetoresistance (GMR) effect, are some of the first real applications of nanotechnology, and have become very important in the last two decades. In addition, high-performance magnetoresistance (MR) measurement is a critical technique in modern electrical applications, including electronic compasses, aviation navigation, motion tracking, noncontact current sensing, rotation sensing, and vehicle detection. Both GMR and tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) sensors have been used in the state-of-art electronic compasses. A new planar design layout of a vector magnetometer is proposed in this report. It can sense variations in three-dimensional (3-D) magnetic fields. The planarization of a vector magnetometer is carried out with consideration of materials, magnetic schematics, as well as transducer circuit designs. The optimization of an advanced magnetic material for use in GMR and TMR sensors and its planarization in a 3-D design are crucial practical issues. This paper presents an overview of the planarization of vector magnetometers and the development of its applications. It focuses on recent works, covers an analytic model of magnetoresistive sensors, and methods of thin film fabrication. It also addresses the planar vector magnetometer with a flux-guide, the chopping technique, and techniques for microfabrication of substrates. Planarization in magnetic sensors will become increasingly exploited as nanomagnetism grows in importance.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Science Applications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering