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Ultrasensitive Magnetoelectric Sensing System for Pico-Tesla MagnetoMyoGraphy

: Zuo, S.; Schmalz, J.; Özden, M.-O.; Gerken, M.; Su, J.; Niekiel, F.; Lofink, F.; Nazarpour, K.; Heidari, H.

Fulltext ()

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems 14 (2020), No.5, pp.971-984
ISSN: 1932-4545
ISSN: 1940-9990
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ISIT ()

Magnetomyography (MMG) with superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) enabled the measurement of very weak magnetic fields (femto to pico Tesla) generated from the human skeletal muscles during contraction. However, SQUIDs are bulky, costly, and require working in a temperature-controlled environment, limiting wide-spread clinical use. We introduce a low-profile magnetoelectric (ME) sensor with analog frontend circuitry that has sensitivity to measure pico-Tesla MMG signals at room temperature. It comprises magnetostrictive and piezoelectric materials, FeCoSiB/AlN. Accurate device modelling and simulation are presented to predict device fabrication process comprehensively using the finite element method (FEM) in COMSOL Multiphysics. The fabricated ME chip with its readout circuit was characterized under a dynamic geomagnetic field cancellation technique. The ME sensor experiment validate a very linear response with high sensitivities of up to 378 V/T driven at a resonance frequency of fres = 7.76 kHz. Measurements show the sensor limit of detections of down to 175 pT/√Hz at resonance, which is in the range of MMG signals. Such a small-scale sensor has the potential to monitor chronic movement disorders and improve the end-user acceptance of human-machine interfaces.