EP1527352A1 - Gmr sensor element and use thereof - Google Patents

Gmr sensor element and use thereof

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Publication number
EP1527352A1
EP1527352A1 EP20030787612 EP03787612A EP1527352A1 EP 1527352 A1 EP1527352 A1 EP 1527352A1 EP 20030787612 EP20030787612 EP 20030787612 EP 03787612 A EP03787612 A EP 03787612A EP 1527352 A1 EP1527352 A1 EP 1527352A1
Authority
EP
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
gmr
sensor element
direction
bridge
resistor elements
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP20030787612
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Paul Farber
Ingo Herrmann
Hartmut Kittel
Ulrich May
Peter Schmollngruber
Henrik Siegle
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Robert Bosch GmbH
Original Assignee
Robert Bosch GmbH
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B82NANOTECHNOLOGY
    • B82YSPECIFIC USES OR APPLICATIONS OF NANOSTRUCTURES; MEASUREMENT OR ANALYSIS OF NANOSTRUCTURES; MANUFACTURE OR TREATMENT OF NANOSTRUCTURES
    • B82Y25/00Nanomagnetism, e.g. magnetoimpedance, anisotropic magnetoresistance, giant magnetoresistance or tunneling magnetoresistance
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01LCYCLICALLY OPERATING VALVES FOR MACHINES OR ENGINES
    • F01L1/00Valve-gear or valve arrangements, e.g. lift-valve gear
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01RMEASURING ELECTRIC VARIABLES; MEASURING MAGNETIC VARIABLES
    • G01R33/00Arrangements or instruments for measuring magnetic variables
    • G01R33/02Measuring direction or magnitude of magnetic fields or magnetic flux
    • G01R33/06Measuring direction or magnitude of magnetic fields or magnetic flux using galvano-magnetic devices, e.g. Hall effect devices; using magneto-resistive devices
    • G01R33/09Magnetoresistive devices
    • G01R33/093Magnetoresistive devices using multilayer structures, e.g. giant magnetoresistance sensors
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01LCYCLICALLY OPERATING VALVES FOR MACHINES OR ENGINES
    • F01L2101/00Using particular materials
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01LCYCLICALLY OPERATING VALVES FOR MACHINES OR ENGINES
    • F01L2820/00Details on specific features characterising valve gear arrangements
    • F01L2820/04Sensors
    • F01L2820/041Camshafts position or phase sensors

Abstract

Disclosed is a GMR sensor element comprising a rotationally symmetrical arrangement of eight GMR resistor elements in particular which are interconnected to form two Wheatston full bridges. Said GMR sensor element is particularly suitable for use in an angle sensor for detection of the absolute position of the camshaft or crankschaft in a motor vehicle, especially in a camshaft-free engine with electric or electrohydraulic valve control, a motor position of an electrically commutated motor or detection of a windscreen wiper position or in a steering angle sensor system in motor vehicles.

Description

GMR sensor element and its use

The invention relates to a GMR sensor element according to the main claim and the use thereof.

State of the art

The Giant Magneto-Resistive (GMR effect) can be used for Winkelsensierung in the form of so-called spin Nalve structures (spin valves or "spin valves"). This is described for example in WO 00/79298 or in EP 0,905,523 A2.

GMR spin valves basically consist of two ferromagnetic thin films with a resulting magnetization nii and m 2, which are separated by an intervening non-magnetic thin film. The electrical resistance R (α) of such a layer system then displays cosine function of the angle α between the direction of magnetization mi and the direction of magnetization M of the type:

R () = R - 0.5 • AR GMR cos (α).

The maximum relative change in resistance of GMR .DELTA.R / R designates GMR effect and is typically 5% to 15%.

GMR spin valve layer systems are usually deposited by sputtering, moreover, the respective materials, and then patterned by conventional photolithography techniques and etching techniques. It is essential for the intended spin-valve function a rigid, by a from the outside on the layer system acting magnetic field that is to be especially detected in terms of its direction and / or thickness, at least approximately, not variable direction of magnetization mi of the first ferromagnetic layer, of called. reference layer (RL) or reference layer, and easily at least approximately parallel to the external magnetic field orientating the direction of the magnetization m 2 of the second ferromagnetic layer, the so-called. Free layer (FL) or Detekti- onsschicht. on the one hand in order to achieve both, the two ferromagnetic layers by a sufficient thickness of the nonmagnetic intermediate layer, the so-called Non-Magnetic Layer (NML), typically decoupled several nanometers magnetically, and the magnetization of the reference layer (RL), for example by an additional directly adjacent antiferromagnetic layer, a so-called natural antiferromagnet (AF), and their mutual magnetic coupling by the exchange interaction ( "pinned") fixed.

This is shown schematically in Figure la, where the GMR film system or GMR sensor element under the influence of a magnetic field of the encoder magnet.

is obtained a further improved stabilization of the reference magnetization by adding an additional so-called synthetic or "artificial" antiferromagnet (SAF). This SAF is corresponding to FIG lb of two ferromagnetic, a non-magnetic intermediate layer strongly antiferromagnetically coupled layers. The one of these two ferromagnetic layers which is located next to or on the natural antiferromagnet AF is referred to as a pinned layer (PL), since its magnetization Mp due to the coupling to the natural antiferromagnet (AF) is fixed ( "pinned") is. The second ferromagnetic layer of the SAF, the magnetization M R of that of the is Pinned Layer (PL) opposite due to the antiferromagnetic coupling oriented, serves as a reference layer (RL) for the already above described GMR spin valve layer system.

To extract the angle-dependent useful signal, are in a GMR sensor element according to the prior art four spin Valve- resistance elements z. B. connected together by means of aluminum thin-film conductors wards to a Wheatstone bridge circuit (Wheatstone-bridge). The maximum signal amplitude is obtained in accordance with Figure 2 oppositely oriented reference magnetization M R of the bridge resistors within the half-bridges and the same reference magnetizations oriented M R of the resistors lying diagonally in the full bridge.

A GMR angle sensor still has a second full-bridge from GMR resistors whose reference directions as shown in Figure 2, to which the first full-bridge are relatively rotated by 90 ° in general. The signal provided by the second full bridge signal U s; n is thus phase-shifted relative to the signal of the first full-bridge U cos 90 °.

Is then arctan or corresponding algorithms (eg CORDIC algorithm) from the two cosine and sine wave signals U s bridge;n, U cos the unique over a full 360 ° rotation angle α determined to the direction of an external magnetic field B.

The different reference magnetizing directions according to Figure 2 are for example realized in that the individual GMR bridge resistors locally to a temperature T above the blocking temperature (Neel temperature) of the antiferromagnetic layer, however, (AF) (below the Curie temperature of the ferromagnetic layers PL, are heated so that the antiferromagnetic spin order in the antiferromagnetic layer is removed, and thereafter cooled in an external magnetic field of suitable direction RL) of FIG. la and FIG. lb. In the case taking place again forming the antiferromagnetic order from the exchange interaction at the interface of the antiferromagnetic layer (AF) is frozen and adjacent ferromagnetic layer (PL) resulting spin configuration. Thus, the direction of magnetization of the adjacent ferromagnetic layer (Pinned Layer PL) is fixed. The local heating of the GMR bridge resistors can be effected eg by means of a laser or short current pulse. The current pulse can then be driven directly by the GMR-conductor structure and / or an additional heating element.

In known GMR angle sensors, the reference magnetization M R of the individual bridge resistors is selected either parallel or perpendicular to the direction of strip-shaped structured GMR resistor elements. This serves to keep the influence of the shape anisotropy low. Furthermore, the strip-shaped structured GMR resistor elements within a full bridge according to Fig. 2 are preferably aligned in parallel. This serves to suppress a signal contribution due to a superimposed anisotropic magnetoresistive effect (AMR effect). The AMR signal contribution is based on a dependency of electrical resistance on the angle a between the current and the magnetization direction of the form:

R {ß) = R + 0.5 - ^ Ä - cos (2 - ώ ")

In contrast, if the GMR resistors within a half-bridge realized with orthogonal orientation of their GMR strip, as for example in Figure 10 in WO 00/79298 is the case, then the AMR-signal contribution even promote maximum. This has a deteriorating effect on the angular accuracy of the GMR angle sensor.

Advantages of the Invention

For the above reasons, therefore, known GMR angle sensors no rotationally symmetric Annordnung the bridge resistors. Both full-bridge rather are usually arranged laterally side by side. This results as a consequence of the lack of rotational symmetry of an increased sensitivity of the known sensors with respect to the encoder Richtungsinhomogenität field, that of the externally applied magnetic field, as well as with respect to temperature gradients.

Characterized in that in known GMR angle sensors, the pinning or reference direction is always at a fixed angle to the strip direction within a bridge resistor, these sensors further do not provide the possibility formanisotropiebedingte influences on the pinning behavior and related drawbacks the Winkelsensie- compensate approximation accuracy.

For a 360 ° sensing angle sensor rotational symmetry in the sensor design is, however, very beneficial to not already be obtained by an asymmetry in the arrangement of the individual GMR resistor elements additional directional angle error contributions. The inventive, rotationally symmetrical arrangement of the GMR resistor elements in the two Wheatstone bridges therefore both a reduced sensitivity to Feldrichtungs- and temperature inhomogeneities is achieved, as well as an undesirable AMR signal contribution suppressed and further the shape anisotropy influence on the pinning behavior and the Winkelsensierungsgenauig- ness of the GMR sensor element reduced.

It is particularly advantageous further if a nested arrangement of these resistors is chosen adjacent to the rotationally symmetric arrangement of the GMR resistor elements in the two Wheatstone bridges. This leads to a further reduction in sensitivity to Feldrichtungs- and temperature inhomogeneities.

The suppression of the interfering signal contribution AMR is achieved by an additional partitioning of each GMR bridge resistive element into two equal halves or partial bridge resistors orthogonal to each other oriented GMR strip directions. This also leads in particular to an increase in the angle measurement accuracy. It is advantageous in this connection, further, that is characterized in that the direction of the strip-shaped structured GMR resistor elements ( "GMR strip direction") in parallel and in which the other part of bridge resistor chosen perpendicular to the pinning or reference direction at one of the two partial bridge resistors, an averaging of the influence of the direction parallel and perpendicular to the strip Pinningrichtungen within each of the GMR bridge resistor elements is established. The pinning is in turn identical for all two-part GMR bridge resistor elements (averaging over each of the two parts). U 2 also in this case, the two bridge output signals Ui, advantageously each other a 45 ° phase shift on.

If the GMR resistor elements have a pinning or reference direction which is at least approximately selected at 45 ° to the direction of the strip-shaped structured GMR resistor elements, this advantageously results in an identical pinning behavior of each GMR resistor elements, ie in particular to an improved signal stability and long-term stability of the GMR sensor element. In this case, have the two bridge output signals Jχ, U 2 also each a 45 ° - phase shift.

By an arbitrary angle φ mutually phase shifted bridge output signals Ui, U 2, where φ is preferably 45 ° or is 45 °, finally, can be advantageously ready to shift by a coordinate transformation to orthogonal signals with a 90 ° -Phasenver-. For example, the CORDIC algorithm, the sought angle α can be determined to the direction of the external magnetic field B from the latter then arctan or a corresponding algorithm.

The coordinate transformation has the advantage, moreover, that due to production variations in the phase difference of the two Brückenaussignale Ui, U 2 can be compensated at the picture on the orthogonal signals.

drawings

It shows Figure la is a simplified GMR spin valve layer structure having two ferromagnetic layers RL and FL with the magnetizations mi and m 2, a non-magnetic intermediate layer NML and an antiferromagnetic layer AF. The latter is used for fixing (pinning) the reference magnetization mi. In addition, a sensor magnet for generating an external magnetic field B is provided. The angle "denotes the angle between the field and the magnetization direction of the free ferromagnetic layer (FL) and thus also the direction of the external magnetic field B in the plane of the GMR sensor element and the reference direction of magnetization.

Figure lb shows a GMR spin valve layer system with a natural antiferromagnet AF and an additional synthetic antiferromagnet SAF and another non-magnetic intermediate layer NML and a ferromagnetic free layer FL.

2 shows an equivalent circuit diagram of an angle sensor element on the basis of the GMR effect with two full bridges (Wheatstone bridge circuits) are oriented and rotated against each other from bridge to bridge around 90 ° wherein the reference magnetization M R within the two bridges in pairs in opposite directions. The direction of the reference magnetization M R is further parallel or perpendicular to the Richttmg of the individual strip-shaped structured GMR resistor elements, which are constructed, for example, according to FIG la or lb FIG. This "stripe direction" is represented by the indicated strips flock within each GMR resistor elements. In addition, in Figure 2 the direction of an external magnetic field B is given, which includes a reference direction to the GMR sensor element to be measured angle α. The reference or null direction is defined by the choice of the reference magnetization directions in the two full bridges, one of which is designed as a full bridge sin and cos a as a full bridge.

3 shows a rotationally symmetric arrangement meandering, interleaved GMR bridge resistance elements 1.1 to 4.1 (Bridge I) and π / 1 to π / 4 (bridge II). Here, the directions of the reference magnetization (see registered arrows in Figure 3) in bridge I, respectively at 45 ° oriented to the direction of the individual strip-shaped structured GMR resistor elements and II turned the reference magnetization directions in the bridge in each case by 45 ° relative to those in bridge I. In addition, in Figure 3, the direction of an external magnetic field B is given, which includes a reference direction to the GMR sensor element to be measured angle α. The reference or null direction is defined here by the choice of the reference magnetization directions in bridge I and II bridge, said bridge I will provide a cosine-like waveform over the angle α.

4 shows an equivalent circuit diagram for the layout of the GMR sensor element according to FIG 3. The pinning or reference direction of magnetization M R in each case at 45 ° to the GMR strip direction, the re-drawn analogous to FIG 2 through the inside of each GMR resistor elements Schar strip is specified, oriented, and additionally rotated in bridge II by 45 ° relative to that in bridge I. This results in a gain of the AMR signal contribution due to mutually orthogonal strip directions of the resistors of each half bridge.

5a shows the GMR sensor output signals Ui and U 2 with 45 ° phase according to a pinning or reference direction of magnetization M R of less than 45 ° to the strip direction corresponding to Figure 3 and 4. Figure 5b shows corresponding transformed orthogonal GMR sensor signals U cos and sin U with 90 ° phase. The AMR signal contribution is not shown in figure 5a and figure 5b. On the x axis is shown in Figure 5a and Figure 5b respectively, the direction of the external magnetic field B in degrees, ie the angle α, is applied, while on the y-axis in Figure 5a, the GMR sensor output in millivolts / volt and Figure 5b is the transformed GMR sensor signal in millivolts / volt applied.

6 shows a rotationally symmetric, at least approximately circular o- octagonal, nested arrangement meandering GMR bridge resistor elements, wherein a suppression of the AMR signal contribution by dividing each of the individual bridge resistor elements was made in two equal halves with mutually orthogonal strip directions.

7 shows an equivalent circuit diagram for the layout of the GMR resistor elements according to FIG 6. A suppression of the AMR signal contribution herein by division of each bridge resistor element 1 / 1.1 / 2 to H 4 into two halves a and b with mutually orthogonal GMR strip directions achieved. The respective pinning or reference magnetization M R is oriented at 45 ° to the respective GMR strip direction. The latter is indicated by the drawn within each GMR resistor elements strips crowd.

8 shows an equivalent circuit diagram for the layout of the GMR resistor elements according to Figure 6 with alternative to Figure 7 pinning or reference directions of magnetization M R at 0 ° and 90 ° to the GMR strip direction at each of the individual bridge resistors 1/1, 1/2 to 1/4. An averaging of the effect of pinning is carried out here by the GMR strip direction both parallel and perpendicular pinning or reference magnetization direction within each two-part bridge resistor 1/1, 1/2 to 1/4.

embodiments

a.) rotationally symmetrical arrangement

3 shows a possible rotationally symmetrical arrangement of eight bridge resistor elements of two full-bridge (Wheatstone bridge). Unlike AMR sensors, in which the reference direction is given by the current direction, which is defined by the strip direction, wherein the GMR angle sensor the reference direction by the direction of magnetization of the reference layer (RL) is defined. In principle, the pinning or reference direction may be selected as desired, but to obtain the same pinning in all bridge resistor elements, an orientation of the pinning or reference direction at 45 ° is chosen here to the strip direction. This is illustrated further in Figure 4, where in addition to the strip direction (within the resistance strip coulter symbols) and the direction of the reference magnetization M R is specified.

b.) Illustration on orthogonal signals

In the case of pinning or direction of the reference magnetization of less than 45 ° to the GMR strip direction, the two bridge output signals Ui and U 2 according to figure 5a is not the usual phase shift of 90 °, but only a 45 ° - on Phasenverschiebnung. These signals U b U 2, however, may be transformed in a simple manner to the orthogonal cosine and sine wave signals according to Figure 5b. To this end, in a sensor evaluation system following transformation is performed:

Here, φ, the phase shift of the second bridge signal designated relative to the first bridge signal. This phase shift can in principle be chosen arbitrarily, but it is preferably set a phase shift of 45 °.

5b, the angle from the obtained by this transformation, cosine and sine wave signals according to figure by arctangent formation or by application of an appropriate algorithm such as the CORDIC algorithm in the sensor evaluation electronics can be determined α:

Among "= arctan! ^ cos J The implementation of this coordinate transformation further provides the important advantage that due to production variations of the phase shift of the two bridge signals Ui, U 2 sensor-specific in mapping to orthogonal signals - may be (90 ° phase shift) is detected and compensated. For this purpose, for example, in an offset and amplitude balance of the signals Ui, U 2 at the end of a production line and this phase shift is φ example by means of Fourier analysis of the two bridge signals Ui, U 2 is determined, and stored in the sensor-transmitter.

c.) rotationally symmetrical arrangement with suppression of the AMR signal contribution

The resistor assembly shown in Figure 3 favors the AMR signal contribution, since the GMR strip directions of the two bridge resistors of each half bridge are orthogonal to each other. This disadvantage can be avoided by assembling according to the preferred, also rotationally symmetrical arrangement according to Figure 6 each resistance bridge consisting of two identical halves with mutually perpendicular GMR strip directions. The series connection of the two partial resistors, each with identical reference magnetization M R of the AMR portion is then filtered out, while the GMR signal component remains unchanged due to identical in both partial resistors direction of the reference magnetization M R. This situation is illustrated by the following relationship was element of a two-part GMR Brückenwider-:

R (a) = • (R - 0.5 AR GMR cos ( ") + 0.5 • .DELTA.R ^ • cos (25)) l. Part resis tan d

+ ~ (R - 0.5 -. GMR AR cos (α) + 0.5 - XMR • cos (2 (- 90 °)))

2. Part resis tan d

= R - 0.5 - AR Gm - cos ()

Here, α denotes the angle between field and magnetization direction of the free ferromagnetic layer (FL) and the reference direction of magnetization; & Denotes the angle between the field and the magnetization direction of the free layer (FL) and the GMR strip direction of the first partial resistance. The stripe direction of the second resistor is rotated -90 ° to the primary section resistance.

d.) pinning

However, Figure 7 illustrates the division of the bridge resistors in two halves each with mutually orthogonal strip directions identical reference direction of magnetization M R. In principle, the pinning direction or the direction of the reference magnetization M R can be arbitrarily selected. but is preferably an angle of 45 ° to respective stripe direction because thereby an identical pinning is achieved for all partial resistors.

Alternatively, a pinning or a direction of the reference magnetization M R can be set, which is oriented at a respective one of the two partial resistances in parallel to the strip direction and in which the other partial resistance perpendicular to the strip direction. As a result, although in the individual component resistors, a different, but, again, achieved in each of the bridge resistance elements in the form of a series circuit of the two resistors, an identical total pinning behavior.

This choice of pinning or reference magnetization direction offers advantages over prior art sensors, the advantage that is averaged within each bridge resistor element over the different pinning behavior of parallel and perpendicular orientation of pinning or reference magnetization direction of the GMR strip direction.

The described 360 ° GMR angle sensor is particularly suitable for detecting the absolute position of the camshaft or the crankshaft in a motor vehicle, in particular at a camshaft-free motor with electric or elektrohyraulischer valve control, an engine capable of an electrically commutated motor or a detection of a windscreen wiper position, or in the steering angle sensor in motor vehicles.

Claims

claims
1. GMR sensor element having a rotationally symmetrical arrangement of, in particular eight GMR resistor elements, which are connected together to form two Wheatstone full bridges.
2. GMR sensor element according to claim 1, characterized in that the GMR resistor elements are interleaved.
3. GMR sensor element according to claim 1 or 2, characterized in that the GMR resistor elements are patterned in strip form.
4. GMR sensor element according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that each GMR resistor element of the Wheatstone full bridge is divided into two identically constructed halves, each oriented orthogonal to directions of the strip-shaped structured GMR resistor elements.
5. GMR sensor element according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that so that a unique measurement of angle (α) of an external magnetic field (B) with respect to a direction of magnetization of a reference layer (RL) over 360 ° is feasible.
6. GMR sensor element according to one of the preceding claims, characterized in that the GMR resistor elements are arranged at least approximately circular or octagonal shape.
7. The use of a GMR sensor element according to any one of the preceding claims in an angle sensor for detecting the absolute position of a camshaft or a spa belwelle in a motor vehicle, in particular at a camshaft-free motor with electric or elektrohyraulischer valve control, an engine capable of an electrically commutated motor or a detection a windshield wiper position, or in the Lenkwinkelsenso- rik in motor vehicles.
EP20030787612 2002-07-26 2003-06-27 Gmr sensor element and use thereof Withdrawn EP1527352A1 (en)

Priority Applications (5)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
DE10234347 2002-07-26
DE10234347 2002-07-26
DE10257253 2002-12-07
DE2002157253 DE10257253A1 (en) 2002-07-26 2002-12-07 Giant magnetoresistive sensor for motor vehicle cam and crank shafts has eight magnetoresistive elements in two Wheatstone bridges
PCT/DE2003/002145 WO2004017086A1 (en) 2002-07-26 2003-06-27 Gmr sensor element and use thereof

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JP (1) JP2005534199A (en)
RU (1) RU2328015C2 (en)
WO (1) WO2004017086A1 (en)

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RU2004115639A (en) 2006-01-10 application
US7312609B2 (en) 2007-12-25 grant
US20060103381A1 (en) 2006-05-18 application
JP2005534199A (en) 2005-11-10 application
WO2004017086A1 (en) 2004-02-26 application

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