Novel Magnetic Sensors and Their Applications STFC Knowledge Exchange Workshop

Prof Mo Missous giving a demonstration, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, STFC, 12th March 2015
(Credit: STFC)

The STFC Innovations Club hosted an event on Novel magnetic sensors and their applications. The workshop addressed the following type of sensors and their applications:

  • Quantum Well Hall Effect (QWHE) sensors
  • Portable SQUID magnetometers
  • Fluxgate magnetometers
  • Characterisation tools for functional magnetic materials

The sensors based on advanced Quantum Well Hall Effect (QWHE) display unprecedented sensitivity and dynamic range ( > 180dB) allowing magnetic fields down to 1nT to be measured in an active volume of less than 0.001 mm3.

  • These sensors support 2D planar and conformal array geometries on rigid and flexible substrates which opens possibilities not possible with induction techniques.
  • There also have advantages in integrated circuits, mass production, repeatability, low power consumption, ease of use and lower costs.

Prof John Roulston - WFS Technologies
(Credit: STFC)

A SQUID (superconducting quantum interference device) is a very sensitive magnetometer used to measure extremely subtle magnetic fields, based on superconducting loops containing Josephson junctions. SQUIDs are sensitive enough to measure fields as low as 5 aT (5×10-18 T) and reach a noise level of ~fTHz-1/2.
Applications of magnetic sensors

    • High-accuracy magnetometry, long-range position sensing, angular position sensing, current sensing, magnetic scanning of documents
    • Non Destructive Testing (NDT), monitoring asset integrity, use of radiation hard camera for nuclear industry
    • Magnetic near-field communications and sensing, the markets span oil & gas, defence and niche custom applications with products in low data-rate underwater communications, data logging, sensing and induction power transfer
    • Extremely low magnetic fields detection (e.g. detection of underground water level and its salinity).

This workshop aimed to pull together the interest from both the academia and industry in order to facilitate knowledge exchange (KE) between STFC funded researchers working in the area of magnetic materials and sensors and industry with a view to exploiting synergies between academic research and industry. 
The workshop further highlighted funding opportunities to support KE relationships around novel magnetic sensors and materials as well as provide an opportunity to hear a general update on their development and possible applications.


Time Title Speaker
11.45 - 12.45 Registration and Lunch
12.45 - 12.50 Introduction and welcome from the chair Prof Mo Missous
University of Manchester
12.50 - 13.15 Quantum Well Hall Effect (QWHE) sensors and their applications Prof Mo Missous
University of Manchester
13.15 - 13.40 Magnetic sensing in off-shore operations Prof John Roulston
WFS Technologies
13.40 - 14.05 Superconducting quantum interference devices and their applications Dr Sam Henry
University of Oxford
14.05 - 14.30 Fluxgate magnetometers and their applications Mr Olivier Masséglia
Bartington Instrument
14.30 - 14.55 Characterising magnetic materials at the atomic and nanoscale using neutron probes Prof Sean Langridge
14.55 - 15.20 STFC External Innovations Impact funding schemes Dr Vlad Skarda
External Innovations, STFC
15.20 - 15.45 Tea and Networking
15.45 - 16.40 Tour of ISIS (Optional)

For more information contact: Dr Vlad Skarda, STFC (

Files and resources

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