Preliminary design and noise considerations for an ultrasensitive magnetic field sensor

Philip W.T. Pong, Robert McMichael, Alan S. Edelstein, Edmund R. Nowak, William F. Egelhoff

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


In this paper, we discuss the structural design including the materials, junction areas, and magnetic layers thicknesses, and various noise sources including Johnson noise, shot noise, 1/f noise, and thermal magnetic noise, that must be considered when building a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ) magnetic field sensor with the goal of SQUID-like sensitivity. Analytical derivations of the sensor sensitivity and different noise sources are provided. A highly-portable software design tool is developed to optimize the various parameters of the sensor design, while also predicting the expected sensitivity, operating frequency range, operating current and power of the finished sensor. The functions and operations of this design tool are described. The relationships between the sensor detectivity and some critical design parameters are studied with this design tool. A possible design for the construction of an ultrasensitive magnetic field sensor is proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNanoengineering
Subtitle of host publicationFabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices IV
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventNanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices IV - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Aug 27 2007Aug 30 2007

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


ConferenceNanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices IV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • 1/f noise
  • Design tool
  • Johnson noise
  • Mag noise
  • Magnetic field sensor
  • Magnetic tunnel junction
  • Tunneling magnetoresistance


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