Novel designs of planar Hall effect bridge sensors optimized for magnetic bead detection are presented and characterized. By constructing the sensor geometries appropriately, the sensors can be tailored to be sensitive to an external magnetic field, the magnetic field due to beads being magnetized by the sensor self-field or a combination thereof. The sensors can be made nominally insensitive to small external magnetic fields, while being maximally sensitive to magnetic beads, magnetized by the sensor self-field. Thus, the sensor designs can be tailored towards specific applications with minimal influence of external variables. Three different sensor designs are analyzed theoretically. To experimentally validate the theoretical signals, two sets of measurements are performed. First, the sensor signals are characterized as function of an externally applied magnetic field. Then, measurements of the dynamic magnetic response of suspensions of magnetic beads with a nominal diameter of 80 nm are performed. Furthermore, a method to amplify the signal by appropriate combinations of multiple sensor segments is demonstrated.
Journal of Applied Physics, 2014, Vol 115, Issue 18