Anisotropic Magnetoresistance (AMR) Magnetometers

  • Michael J. Haji-SheikhEmail author
  • Kristen Allen
Part of the Smart Sensors, Measurement and Instrumentation book series (SSMI, volume 19)


Anisotropic magnetoresistive (AMR) based magnetometers are used in devices as varied as global positioning systems to provide dead reckoning capability and in automotive ignition systems to provide crankshaft rotational position. Presented are data and methods that can assist in the design and implementation of these systems and a method to design a Helmholtz coil system to test these devices. The transverse and longitudinal behavior of individual AMR sensors along with group (proximity) behavior is addressed with both data and modeling. The design of a 3-axis measurement system goes from basic electromagnetics to the use of COMSOL and the verification of the measurement system using a commercial 3-axis magnetometer.


Magnetization Reversal Proximity Effect Helmholtz Coil Coil System Switching Field 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



The Authors would like to thank the many fine engineers, technicians and production operators at Honeywell’s Sensor Fab in Richardson, Texas for helping collect reams of data on the behavior of permalloy from 1994 to 2002. We would also like to thank Misty Haji-Sheikh for patiently editing this work. Additionally, like the lead author, many of the people have moved on to other careers such Bob Biard (Honeywell Retired), Wayne Kilian, Ron Foster, and John Schwartz (Honeywell Retired), but all have had a part in this work in some way or another.


  1. 1.
    W. Thompson, On the electro-dynamic qualities of metal: effects of magnetization on the electric conductivity of nickel and of iron. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, vol. 8, (1897), pp. 546–550Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    T.R. McGuire, R.I. Potter, Anisotropic magnetization in ferromagnetic 3d alloys. IEEE Trans. Magn. MAG-11(4), 1018–1037 (1975)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    L.I. Maissel, R. Glang, Handbook of Thin Film Technology (McGraw-Hill Handbooks, New York City, 1970)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    B.B. Pant. Magnetoresistive sensors. Sci. Honeyweller 8(1), 29–34 (1987)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Y. Lee, A.R. Koymen, M.J. Haji-Sheikh, Discovery of cross-tie walls at saw-tooth magnetic domain boundaries in permalloy films. Appl. Phys. Lett. 72(7), 851–852 (1998)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    A. García-Arribas, E. Fernández, A.V. Svalov, G.V. Kurlyandskaya, A. Barrainkua, D. Navas, J.M. Barandiaran, Tailoring the magnetic anisotropy of thin film permalloy microstrips by combined shape and induced anisotropies. Euro. Phys. J. B 86(4), 136 (2013)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    J.P. Heremans, Magnetic field sensors for magnetic position sensing in automotive applications (invited review). Mat. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 1, 63–74 (1997)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    S. Tumanski, Thin Film Magnetoresistive Sensors (IOP, Bristol, U.K., 2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    E.H. Hall, On a new action of the magnet on electric currents. Am. J. Math. 2(3), 287–292 (1879)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    R.R. Birss, Symmetry and Magnetism (North Holland, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 1964)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    E.C. Stoner, E.P. Wohlfarth, A mechanism of magnetic hysteresis in heterogeneous alloys. Philos. Trans. R. Soc. A: Phys. Math. Eng. Sci. 240(826), 599–642 (1948)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    D.A. Thompson, L.T. Romankiew, A.F. Mayadas, Thin film resistors in memory, storage and related applications. IEEE Trans. Magn. MAG-11(4), 1039–1050 (1975)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    C.P. Batterel, M. Galinier, Optimization of the planer hall effect in ferromagnetic thin films for device design. IEEE Trans. Magn. MAG-5(1), 18–28 (1969)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    C.-R. Chang, A hysteresis model for planar hall effect in the films. IEEE Trans. Magn. 36(4), 1214–1217 (2000)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    M.J. Haji-Sheikh, G. Morales, B. Altuncevahir, A.R. Koymen, Anisotropic magnetoresistive model for saturated sensor elements. Sens. J. IEEE 5(6), 1258–1263Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    J.F. Nye, Physical Properties of Crystals: Their Representation by Tensors and Matrices (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1985)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    S. Chikazumi, S.H. Charap, Physics of Magnetism (Krieger Pub Co, Malabar, 1978)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    T. Tanaka, K. Yazawa, H. Masuya, Structure, magnetization reversal, and magnetic anisotropy of evaporated cobalt films with high coercivity. IEEE Trans. Magn. MAG-21(5), 2090–2096 (1985)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    J.A. Baldwin Jr., G.M. Pickles. Power spectrum of Barkhausen noise in simple materials. J. Appl. Phys. 43(11), 4746–4749 (1972)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    B.B. Pant, Effect of interstrip gap on the sensitivity of high sensitivity magnetoresistive transducer. J. Appl. Phys. 79, 6123 (1996)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    C.A. Grimes, P.L. Trouilloud, L. Chun, Switchable lossey/non-lossey permalloy thin films. IEEE Trans. Magn. 33(5), 3996–3998 (1997)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    R. Mathias, J. McCord, K. Ramstöck, D. Berkov, Formation and annihilation of edge walls in thin-film permalloy stripes. IEEE Trans. Magn. 33(5), 3993–3995 (1997)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    H. Zhang, C. Li, R. Divan, A. Hoffmann, P. Wang, Broadband mag-noise of patterned permalloy thin films. IEEE Trans. Magn. 46(6), 2442–2445 (2010)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    E.D. van Hattum, D.B. Boltje, A. Palmero, W.M. Arnoldbik, H. Rudolph, F.H.P.M. Habraken, On the argon and oxygen incorporation into SiOx through ion implantation during reactive plasma magnetron sputter deposition. Appl. Surf. Sci. 255, 3079–3084 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    S.C. Mukhopadhyay, Y.-M.R. Huang, Sensors: Advancements in Modeling, Design Issues, Fabrication and Practical Applications, 1st edn. (Springer, Berlin, 2008)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    N. Bowditch, The American Practical Navigator: An Epitome of Navigation (National Imagery and Mapping Agency, Bethesda, 2002)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    HCS1: Helmholtz Coil System. HCS1 product datasheet, Barrington InstrumentsGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Honeywell’s Application Notes, Applications of Magnetic Position SensorsGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    M.J. Haji-Sheikh, TaN/NiFe/TaN Anisotropic Magnetic Sensor Element. Patent Number 5,667,879, 16 Sept 1997Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    D.R. Krahn, Magnetoresistive proximity sensor. U.S. Patent 5,351,028 AGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    J. Heremans, Solid state magnetic field sensors and applications. J. Phys. D Appl. Phys. 26, 1149–1168 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    M. Haji-Sheikh, M. Plagens, R. Kryzanowski, Magnetoresistive speed and direction sensing method and apparatus. U. S. Patent Number 6,784,659Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    H. Corte-León, V. Nabaei, A. Manzin, J. Fletcher, P. Krzysteczko, H.W. Schumacher, O. Kazakova, Anisotropic magnetoresistance state space of permalloy nanowires with domain wall pinning geometry. Sci. Rep. 4(6045) (2014) doi: 10.1038/srep06045
  34. 34.
    A.K. Singh, K. Mandal, Effect of aspect ratio and temperature on magnetic properties of permalloy nanowires. J. Nanosci. Nanotechnol. 14(7), 5036–5041 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    T.M. Nguyen, M.G. Cottam, H.Y. Liu, Z.K. Wang, S.C. Ng, M.H. Kuok, D.J. Lockwood, K. Nielsch, U. Gösele, Spin waves in permalloy nanowires: the importance of easy-plane anisotropy. Phys. Rev. B 73, 140402(R) (2006)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    L. Klein, A. Grosz, M.O.R. Vladislav, E. Paperno, S. Amrusi, I. Faivinov, M. Schultz, O. Sinwani, High resolution planar hall effect sensors. Patent Application US 20140247043 A1Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    B.B. Pant, L. Withanawasam, Anisotropic magneto-resistance (amr) gradiometer/magnetometer to read a magnetic track. Patent Application US 20130334311 A1Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Electrical Engineering, Micro-Electronic Research and Development CenterNorthern Illinois UniversityDekalbUSA

Personalised recommendations