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Patented Magnetic Devices To Transform Sensing

May 31, 2006

Superparamagnetic devices improve accuracy of spintronic sensors.

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NVE Corp. said that it has been notified by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that two patents are expected to be granted. The patents are titled "Two-Axis Magnetic Field Sensor" and "Superparamagnetic Devices."

The Two-Axis Magnetic Field Sensor is patent number 7,054,114 and is the grant of a patent under the application published by the USPTO as number 2004-0137275. The invention is for a spintronic device that can detect the magnitude and orientation of magnetic fields. Applications for such devices might include magnetoresitive random access memory (MRAM) or military, industrial, and medical sensors.

The Superparamagnetic Devices patent is number 7,054,118 and is the first patent granted from the application published by the USPTO under number 2004-0023065. Other patents are possible based on this application, although there can be no assurance if or when additional patents will be granted.

Superparamagnetism is the magnetic state of a material between highly ordered parallel spins (ferromagnetism) and randomly ordered spins (paramagnetism). The superparamagnetic effect occurs in ferromagnetic particles smaller than a critical value or at temperatures higher than a critical temperature. In conventional storage systems, such as disk drives, superparamagnetism can be undesirable because it limits storage density. The NVE invention uses the superparamagnetic effect to improve the accuracy of spintronic sensors, where a small sensed field is sufficient to order the spins in a superparamagnetic material. More accurate sensors would be useful in a number of applications, including military, medical, and biosensor.

NVE is a leader in the practical commercialization of spintronics, a nanotechnology that many experts believe represents the next generation of microelectronics. NVE licenses its MRAM intellectual property and sells spintronic products, including sensors and couplers, to revolutionize data sensing and transmission.

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