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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > Medicine and Health > Contactless position sensors based on giant magnetic resistivity (GMR)
Graphic element Contactless position sensors based on giant magnetic resistivity (GMR)
A new GMR sensor for contactless measurement of direction, position, speed and angle of weak magnetic fields has potential for automotive, automation and medical applications.

Giant Magnetic Resistivity or GMR effects occur when ultra-thin magnetic structures are set in close proximity to each other. Alternately magnetic and non-magnetic layers can be built up with the magnetic fields either parallel or anti-parallel, creating very sensitive low- to high-resistance components. While development is currently in progress in the United States and Japan, sensors based on GMR remain unavailable on the market.

This project was aimed at developing a new type of GMR sensor for contactless measurement of the direction of weak magnetic fields. Up to ten nano-thin magnetic layers are sputter-deposited on a silicon wafer which is then removed, leaving an instrument which can sense magnetic fields over a 360-degree range.

The generic nature of the sensor and its very small dimensions make for a wide variety of potential applications, promising increased activity and competitiveness for European manufacturers. Initial applications are envisaged in the automotive industry, including angle and position sensors, potentiometers and throttle control, wheel speed, engine speed, and gear shaft position sensors, all of which could help to improve driving safety. Other possible applications are seen in the automation and medical sectors.

Cordis RCN: 22523
More information (Cordis database)
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