Photoinduced Hall Effect for Low-Temperature Magnetic Sensing

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

View graph of relations


Original languageEnglish
Article number8105304
Journal / PublicationIEEE Magnetics Letters
Online published30 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


Some low-temperature magnetic sensors are based on the Hall effect in thin metallic films. However, their sensitivity is more than one order of magnitude smaller than that of silicon-based Hall sensors operating at room temperature. Furthermore, in order to avoid significant Joule heating, only very small bias currents can be injected at low temperatures. Here, we show that a sensor based on a photoinduced Hall effect, in which charge is photogenerated in a semiconductor and injected into an adjacent metallic layer, can be used as a bias-free, cryogenic sensor. The system consists of a platinum thin film deposited on intrinsic-silicon substrate. The film forms a Schottky interface with the semiconductor. At room temperature, carriers photogenerated in the semiconductor are injected into the metal, because of rounding-off of the Schottky barrier, and are deflected by a magnetic field applied in the film plane. At cryogenic temperatures, and well below the freeze-out temperature for silicon, the photogenerated electrons can tunnel through the barrier, and the sensor recovers the same sensitivity as that obtained at room temperature.

Research Area(s)

  • Hall effects, Magnetic sensors, Schottky photodiodes, Magnetic instruments