Cheap flexible sensor detects magnetic fields down to 20nT: Page 2 of 2

February 07, 2019 // By Julien Happich
A team of researchers from Germany and Argentina have devised an ultra-thin planar Hall effect (PHE) sensor capable of detecting very faint magnetic fields even when flexed or wrapped around a wire.

The PHE flexible sensor wrapped around a wire.

The authors anticipate that such flexible and easy to manufacture magnetic field sensors could be used to detect magnetic functionalized objects flowing in a fluidic channel (when wrapped around it), to detect the stray magnetic field generated by a current-carrying wire. As a proof-of-concept, they used the tiny sensors to measure the magnetic field generated by a pulsing DC current in a 2mm diameter insulated stranded copper wire. They were able to measure the magnetic field on the surface of the wire (running a 100mA DC current through it) at just about 20µT, concluding that their flexible PHE sensors offer a performance at least 10 times better than that of conventional bulky and rigid clamp meters used for current sensing today.

What’s more, the new sensors can be used to detect magnetic fields at an angle, as their output exhibits an angular dependence with the relative orientation of the magnetization with respect to the biasing current. This means the devices could be used as an angular sensor to provide orientation information in soft robotics applications.


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