Microelectromechanical (MEMS)-Based Magnetostrictive Magnetometer

A microelectromechanical (MEMS)-based magnetostrictive magnetometer that uses, as an active element, a commercial (001) silicon microcantilever coated with an amorphous thin film of a giant magnetostrictive alloy Terfenol-D and a compact optical beam deflection transduction scheme. A set of Helmholtz coils is used to create an AC magnetic excitation filed for driving the mechanical resonance of the coated microcantilever. When the coated microcantilever is placed in a DC magnetic filed, the DC field will change the amplitude at the mechanical resonance of the coated microcantilever thereby causing a deflection that can be measured. The magnetometer has been demonstrated with sensitivity near 1 µT.

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