Magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJs) that consist of two ferromagnets separated by a thin insulator are among the core devices used in spintronic applications such as magnetic sensors. Since magnetic sensors require high sensitivity for nondestructive eddy current testing, we developed and demonstrated magnetic sensors based on various configurations of serial MTJs. We fabricated sensors with 4, 16, 28, 40, and 52 serial MTJs in various numbers of rows (1, 4, 7, 10, and 13) to detect surface cracks via eddy current testing. All of the sensors could detect and discriminate between surface cracks 0.1 mm in width and 0.1 to 1.0 mm in depth on an aluminum specimen. Systematic studies on the effect of the number of MTJs showed a signal to noise ratio as high as 115 dB when detecting 0.1 mm deep cracks with 28 serial MTJs in 7 rows. This suggests that suitably configured serial MTJ sensors can offer an excellent performance in the detection of tiny surface defects via eddy current testing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)