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Low-frequency noise measurements on commercial magnetoresistive magnetic field sensors



Nathan Stutzke, Stephen E. Russek, David P. Pappas, Mark Tondra


Low frequency noise was measured in the frequency range from 0.1 Hz to 10 kHz on a variety of commercially available magnetic sensors. The types of sensors investigated include anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR), giant magnetoresistance (GMR), and tunnel magnetoresistance (TMR) effect devices. The 1/f noise components of electronic and magnetic origin are identified by measuring sensor noise and sensitivity at various applied magnetic fields. Commercial magnetometers typically consist of four elements in a Wheatstone bridge configuration and are biased with either a constant voltage or current. Voltage fluctuations at the sensor output are amplified by a pair of battery powered low-noise preamplifiers and input to a spectrum analyzer. A two-channel cross-correlation technique is used when the performance of a single preamplifier is not sufficient. For the AMR and GMR sensors investigated, both electronic and magnetic components contribute to the overall sensor noise. Maximum noise occurs at the bias field which gives maximum sensitivity. The noise of TMR based sensors is primarily due to resistance fluctuations in the tunnel barrier, having little to no field dependence. The best low-field detectivity of the sensors that have been measured is on the order of 100 pT/Hz0.5 at 1 Hz.
Journal of Applied Physics


Low Frequency Noise, Magnetic Field Sensors, Noise Measurement
Created May 17, 2005, Updated January 27, 2020