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Proceedings Paper

Magnetoresistive sensors for nondestructive evaluation
Author(s): Albrecht Jander; Carl Smith; Robert Schneider
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Paper Abstract

New high-sensitivity solid-state magnetoresistive (MR) sensor technologies offer significant advantages in nondestructive evaluation (NDE) systems. A key advantage of MR sensors is a flat frequency response extending from dc to hundreds of MHz, making them particularly attractive for low-frequency and multi-frequency eddy current detection for deep-flaw detection and depth profiling. MR sensors are mass produced by thin film processing techniques similar to integrated circuit manufacturing, dramatically reducing the cost per sensor. The fabrication process is compatible with silicon circuit technology, allowing integration of sensors with on-chip signal processing. MR sensors can easily be produced in dense arrays for rapid, single-pass scanning of large areas. The small size and low power consumption of these solid-state magnetic sensors enable the assembly of compact arrays of sensors on a variety of substrates as well as on-chip sensor arrays. Arrays have been fabricated with sensor spacing as small as 5 μm. This paper presents a review of the state of the art in MR sensors and applications in NDE. The physical principles, manufacturing process, and performance characteristics of the three main types of MR devices, anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR), giant magnetoresistance (GMR) and tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) are discussed. Their performance is compared to other magnetic sensor technologies for NDE applications. Finally, we provide a comprehensive review of the literature on NDE applications of MR sensors.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 May 2005
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 5770, Advanced Sensor Technologies for Nondestructive Evaluation and Structural Health Monitoring, (9 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.601826
Show Author Affiliations
Albrecht Jander, Oregon State Univ. (United States)
Carl Smith, NVE Corp. (United States)
Robert Schneider, NVE Corp. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5770:
Advanced Sensor Technologies for Nondestructive Evaluation and Structural Health Monitoring
Norbert Meyendorf; George Y. Baaklini; Bernd Michel, Editor(s)

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