||Low-Field Sensing and Compassing
NVE has developed some of the worlds most sensitive solid-state magnetic
sensors, using one of two spintronic nanotechnology structures: Giant
Magnetoresistors (GMR) and Spin-Dependent
Tunnel (SDT) Junctions. Spintronic sensors are smaller, use less power
and are far more sensitive than older solid-state magnetic technologies such
as Hall-effect sensors and Anisotropic Magnetoresisitive (AMR) sensors.
Low-field sensing applications include solid-state compasses, nondestructive
evaluation, document validation including currency and credit cards, and
||Image of a penny by
high-resolution eddy-current probe with an NVE
spintronic sensor. Pixel resolution is 100 microns.
(Courtesy of S. Smith and T. Dogaru, University
of North Carolina-Charlotte.)
Spintronic solid-state compasses determine heading direction by using low-field sensors to measure the angle of the earths magnetic field. Spintronic compasses could enhance location-based services in cellphones and smartphones, and enable smaller, more precise, or more power-efficient navigation modules for consumer devices.
Nondestructive evaluation involves testing in place critical components such
as airframes, bridges, or building structures. NVE has developed spintronic
sensors that can locate defects such as small cracks by detecting very small
perturbations in magnetic fields.