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Magnetic Sensors: From Ultrathin Film Growth to Sensor Integration in Unexpected Systems

April 27, 2023 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

Hybrid Meeting
On-line and In Person at Quadrant
Refreshments will be available at Quadrant prior to the start of the presentation.
Nanoelectronics combines physical principles of materials with the impressive capability of engineering ultra-small devices at the nanoscale. Magnetic field sensors—in particular, magnetoresistive (MR) sensors—were driven by the technological push from computers and information storage in the early 1990s.
In this talk, Professor de Freitas will first introduce key concepts in spintronics and highlight the physical mechanisms defining sensor performance and the figures of merit for the classification of outstanding MR sensors. The impressive technological progress in thin film preparation and characterization, combined with nano- and microfabrication tools, offer a large spectrum for device design. The materials discussed include several varieties of thin films: oxide films as tunneling barriers, ultrathin amorphous and crystalline films, ultrathin textured layers with grain size control, magnetically soft layers, and antiferromagnetic films, all combined onto multilayer stacks, typically thinner than 60 nm in total. In addition, the noise mechanisms (the “killing factor” that limits MR sensor performance) will be discussed, and she will show successful strategies for improving the signal-to-noise ratio, which determines the ultimate field detectable by an MR sensor.
Examples where spintronic sensors are useful tools for precision sensing will be provided, including integration with microfluidics, optical, and micro-electromechanical micromachined actuators. Detection principles, sensor design, simulations, and experimental validation will be discussed for exciting applications where MR sensors bring added value over competing technologies. She will show how challenging applications have inspired creative solutions, requiring joint skills in physics, materials, electronics, and mechanical engineering. Pr. de Freitas hopes that academics and engineers will be encouraged to propagate their expertise in magnetism to the young, talented people we see every day, and so promote innovation in future spintronic sensors.
Speaker(s): Susana Cardoso de Freitas, PhD, ,
Bldg: Quadrant, 1120 Ringwood Ct., San Jose, California, United States, 95131, Virtual: https://events.vtools.ieee.org/m/355588

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