We report a novel three-axial magnetic-piezoelectric microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) magnetic field sensor. The sensor mainly consists of two sensing elements. Each of the sensing elements consists of a magnetic Ni thick film, a Pt/Ti top electrode, a piezoelectric lead zirconate titanate (PZT) thin film, a Pt/Ti bottom electrode, a SiO2 insulation layer, and a moveable Si MEMS diaphragm. When the sensor is subjected to an AC magnetic field oscillating at 7.5 kHz, a magnetic force interaction between the magnetic field and Ni thick film is produced. Subsequently, the force deforms and deflects the diaphragms as well as the PZT thin film deposited on the diaphragms. The deformation and deflection produce corresponding voltage outputs due to the piezoelectric effect. By analyzing the voltage outputs through our criterion, we can obtain details of the unknown magnetic fields to which the sensor is subjected. This achieves sensing of three-axial magnetic fields. The experimental results show that the sensor is able to sense three-axial magnetic fields ranging from 1 to 20 Oe, with X-axial, Y-axial, and Z-axial sensitivities of 0.156 mVrms/Oe, 0.156 mVrms/Oe, and 0.035 mVrms/Oe, respectively, for sensing element A and 0.033 mVrms/Oe, 0.044 mVrms/Oe, and 0.130 mVrms/Oe, respectively, for sensing element B.
- Magnetic field sensor