(Nanowerk News) Flexible magnetic sensors have gained popularity due to their versatility and potential applications in key areas of flexible electronics, including soft robots, consumer electronics, healthcare, automotive, and more.
They are widely used for tasks such as navigation, strain and stress sensing, posture and motion tracking. The main advantage of flexible sensors over rigid ones, being bendable, is their compatibility with a variety of surfaces including soft and irregularly shaped ones.
However, this advantage comes at a cost, as flexible magnetic sensors have shown a much lower ability to detect small magnetic fields, which limits their potential use.
This may now change, as a group of researchers from Bar-Ilan University and Ben-Gurion University have reported a major leap of more than an order of magnitude increase in the sensitivity of flexible magneto-resistive sensors.
They have published their findings in Applied Physics Letters (“Flexible planar Hall effect sensor with sub-200 pT resolution”).
The sensor, elliptical in shape and embedded in polyamide tape, can detect low-frequency magnetic fields smaller than 200 pico-Teslas, which is more than 200,000 times smaller than Earth’s magnetic field.
“These values are not only the best among all types of flexible magnetic sensors reported to date, but they also surpass many other rigid sensors,” said Prof. Lior Klein, from the Department of Physics at Bar-Ilan University, who led the research. research with Dr. Asaf Grosz of Ben Gurion University. “Unprecedented sensitivity, combined with simple design, low cost, and excellent flexibility, make these sensors very attractive for integration in the next generation of flexible electronic devices.”