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Hot Spin Electronic Active Magnetic Sensors for Automotive, Data-Storage and Mechanical Engineering Applications


The world market for automotive sensors currently stands
at 3 Billion ECU and, growing at over 10% per year, is
projected to be worth 8.5 Billion ECU by 2004. The key
drivers behind this growth include: the need for improved
internal combustion engine management to reduce
automotive emissions, braking and anti skid systems and
safety devices, drive by wire control systems etc.

Coupled with this increase in demand for sensors is an
urgent need for improved sensor performance in terms of
sensitivity (higher output levels), stability (especially
to changes in temperature) and reliability (including
immunity to electromagnetic interference and few if any
moving parts). Some types of magnetic sensors offer
particular advantages over other types and this Basic
Research project will further develop the new European
discoveries in Hot Spin Electronics to meet these

Building off the discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance in
1988 by one of the partners and the more recent invention
of the spin valve in 1990 and the Electronic Spin
Transistor (1995), by two other partners, this project
will develop a series of new transistor/sensor designs
through to proof of concept. Seven leading academic
laboratories and two major electronics companies will
combine their state of the art techniques and know how in
advanced materials development, characterisation.
measurement, and microelectronics.

The project will pave the way for establishing Hot Spin
Electronic Active Magnetic Sensors (HotSEAMS) in the
market place by delivering new advances in the necessary
materials technologies, establishing the experimental
basis and theoretical understanding of Hot Spin
Electronics and by developing a number of different
device designs.

The main focus of the work will be the development of
magnetic sensor devices capable of being used in
automotive applications and will therefore contribute
towards the aims of the Car of Tomorrow Task Force. Using
sputtering, MBE and UHV bonding a number of new materials
will be prepared and characterised. After the
investigation and measurement of their spin properties
these materials will be used to build a range of
transistors and sensors which will be used as device
demonstrators. Although automotive applications are the
primary objective, it is expected that the insights and
know-how that will be developed will also be applicable
in data-storage applications and in mechanical sensors
for other end-use markets.

Call for proposal

Data not available


Keble road 1- denys wilkinson building
OX1 3RH Oxford
United Kingdom

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EU contribution
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Participants (7)