Magnetometer Based on an Oscillator Made with Magnetorestrictive Material

There is an increasing need for miniature magenetometers for mapping magnetic fields in space and in industrial and environmental applications. The trend has been constantly toward smaller size, lower power consumption, and lower cost models having similar or better performance. Recent developments in piezoresistive cantilevers and micro magnetometers have produced devices that in some stages require intricate processing. Sensitivities, defined as the minimum detectable field change are in the range of 1 milli Tesla to 1 micro Tesla.

The Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory has developed and is in the process of patenting a technology using an electrostatically driven MEMS based oscillator, which is coated with magnetorestrictive material thereby becoming a magnetometer. This technology has no magnetic core, is extremely low powered and small size, is compatible with CMOS IC processes and has no capacitance measurement required.

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