Elastomagnetic effect (strain induced by magnetic field application) and piezoresistivity (change of electron conductivity due to an induced strain) are coupled in composite materials constituted by magnetic and conductive microparticles into an elastic matrix. On the basis of these effects, the principle of a new method to read magnetization direction changes, in a random sequence, is proposed and experimentally demonstrated. We have produced new composite magneto-piezoresistive samples, constituted of thin chip shaped Fe microparticles inside a silicone matrix, which under an applied magnetic field along their longitudinal axis, undergo an induced strain depending on the local magnetization direction. The resulting resistivity change can be easily detected and used to deduce the local magnetization direction. The magnetization and strain processes are reversible so that after the removal of external magnetizing field the sample is ready for new measurements. A demonstrator prototype has been conceived, produced and tested. The experimental results provide interesting data encouraging to continue the research towards nano-scale devices in order to pursue the intriguing perspective to achieve a magnetic field gradient sensitivity able to reveal magnetization of semipermanent nanomagnets, polarized 'up' and 'down'.
Magneto-piezoresistivity in iron particle-filled silicone: An alternative outlook for reading magnetic field intensity and direction / Iannotti, Vincenzo; Ausanio, Giovanni; Lanotte, Luciano; Lanotte, Luca. - In: EXPRESS POLYMER LETTERS. - ISSN 1788-618X. - 10:1(2016), pp. 65-71. [10.3144/expresspolymlett.2016.7]