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Comparison between Modelled and Measured Magnetic Field Scans of Different Planar Coil Topologies for Stress Sensor Applications

Cardiff School of Engineering, Cardiff University, Queen’s Buildings, Cardiff CF24 3AA, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sensors 2018, 18(4), 931;
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 21 March 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Magnetic Sensors)
PDF [15027 KB, uploaded 3 May 2018]


The investigation of planar coils of differing topologies, when combined with a magnetostrictive amorphous ribbon to form a stress-sensitive self-inductor, is an active research area for applications as stress or pressure sensors. Four topologies of planar coil (Circular, Mesh, Meander, and Square) have been constructed using copper track on 30 mm wide PCB substrate. The coils are energized to draw 0.4 A and the resulting magnetic field distribution is observed with a newly developed three-dimensional magnetic field scanner. The system is based on a variably angled Micromagnetics® STJ-020 tunneling magneto-resistance sensor with a spatial resolution of 5–10 µm and sensitivity to fields of less than 10 A/m. These experimental results are compared with the fields computed by ANSYS Maxwell® finite element modelling of the same topologies. Measured field shape and strength correspond well with the results of modelling, including direct observation of corner and edge effects. Three-dimensional analysis of the field shape produced by the square coil, isolating the components H(x) and H(z), is compared with the three-dimensional field solutions from modelling. The finite element modelling is validated and the accuracy and utility of the new system for three-dimensional scanning of general stray fields is confirmed. View Full-Text
Keywords: planar coils; scanning; magnetic imaging; TMR sensor; finite-element modelling planar coils; scanning; magnetic imaging; TMR sensor; finite-element modelling

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.17035/d.2018.0046955726
    Description: Information on the data underpinning the results presented here, including how to access them, can be found in the Cardiff University data catalogue at doi:10.17035/d.2018.0046955726

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Gibbs, R.; Moreton, G.; Meydan, T.; Williams, P. Comparison between Modelled and Measured Magnetic Field Scans of Different Planar Coil Topologies for Stress Sensor Applications. Sensors 2018, 18, 931.

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