An Integrated MEMS Magnetic Gradiometer Rejecting Vibrations and Stray Fields

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Gasparin, Enrico
Hoogerwerf, Arno
Bayat, Dara
Spinola Durante, Guido
Petremand, Yves
Tormen, Maurizio
Despont, Michel
Due to electrification, magnetic sensors are increasingly deployed in magnetically polluted environments. To reject stray fields, differential sensing schemes are typically used. In this paper, we rely instead on a single-point gradiometric sensing scheme based on the force exerted on a magnet, which is directly related to the magnetic field gradient. Unlike the prior art, our concept uses a differential MEMS force-sensing mechanical transducer. The overall sensor rejects not only magnetic stray fields, but also mechanical disturbances such as vibration and gravity. It is the first single-point MEMS gradiometer that can operate unshielded in various orientations. Our prototype realization achieves a noise density of 4 nT/mm/√Hz in a ±300 μT/mm measurement range. We demonstrate its operational effectiveness in a bus-bar current sensing application. Finally, the paper discusses the remaining weaknesses and provides an outlook for MEMS-based magnetic sensors.
Publication Reference
ESSERC 2024 Conference, Bruges, Belgium 9-12 September 2023