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Sensors 2014, 14(8), 13815-13829; doi:10.3390/s140813815

High-Sensitivity Low-Noise Miniature Fluxgate Magnetometers Using a Flip Chip Conceptual Design

1
Institute of Mechatronic Engineering, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 10608, Taiwan
2
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Taipei University of Technology, Taipei 10608, Taiwan
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, National Kaohsiung University of Applied Sciences, Kaohsiung 80778, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 June 2014 / Revised: 18 July 2014 / Accepted: 21 July 2014 / Published: 30 July 2014
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
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Abstract

This paper presents a novel class of miniature fluxgate magnetometers fabricated on a print circuit board (PCB) substrate and electrically connected to each other similar to the current “flip chip” concept in semiconductor package. This sensor is soldered together by reversely flipping a 5 cm × 3 cm PCB substrate to the other identical one which includes dual magnetic cores, planar pick-up coils, and 3-D excitation coils constructed by planar Cu interconnections patterned on PCB substrates. Principles and analysis of the fluxgate sensor are introduced first, and followed by FEA electromagnetic modeling and simulation for the proposed sensor. Comprehensive characteristic experiments of the miniature fluxgate device exhibit favorable results in terms of sensitivity (or “responsivity” for magnetometers) and field noise spectrum. The sensor is driven and characterized by employing the improved second-harmonic detection technique that enables linear V-B correlation and responsivity verification. In addition, the double magnitude of responsivity measured under very low frequency (1 Hz) magnetic fields is experimentally demonstrated. As a result, the maximum responsivity of 593 V/T occurs at 50 kHz of excitation frequency with the second harmonic wave of excitation; however, the minimum magnetic field noise is found to be 0.05 nT/Hz1/2 at 1 Hz under the same excitation. In comparison with other miniature planar fluxgates published to date, the fluxgate magnetic sensor with flip chip configuration offers advances in both device functionality and fabrication simplicity. More importantly, the novel design can be further extended to a silicon-based micro-fluxgate chip manufactured by emerging CMOS-MEMS technologies, thus enriching its potential range of applications in modern engineering and the consumer electronics market. View Full-Text
Keywords: miniature fluxgate magnetometer; the second-harmonic detection; device design and simulation; flip chip; CMOS-MEMS miniature fluxgate magnetometer; the second-harmonic detection; device design and simulation; flip chip; CMOS-MEMS
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Lu, C.-C.; Huang, J.; Chiu, P.-K.; Chiu, S.-L.; Jeng, J.-T. High-Sensitivity Low-Noise Miniature Fluxgate Magnetometers Using a Flip Chip Conceptual Design. Sensors 2014, 14, 13815-13829.

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