Project A5 - Piezotronic Magnetoelectric Composites

Biomagnetic sensors that are resistant to noise and have a high signal-to-noise ratio are desired for the envisaged applications within the CRC. One strategy to reduce noise is to place the pre-amplification as close as possible to the sensor. The aim of the proposed project is the investigation of current-based ME sensing devices relying on the piezotronic effect, which provides a pre-amplification directly in the piezomaterial. Furthermore, ZnO and GaN needle-shaped sensors permit a very compact design; therefore, an envisioned biomedical application is a catheter-mounted sensor, for example, for intracardiac magnetic field detection as an alternative to the currently used tunnel magneto resistance (TMR) and giant magneto resistance (GMR) sensors. For comparison, more conventional miniaturized AlN piezotronic sensors will be explored as well. To understand the lower detection limit, transition metal chalcogenides (TMDs) will be employed in piezotronics that currently show the highest potential for miniaturization as they consist of monolayer thicknesses, but are most challenging in terms of sample handling and electrical contact establishment. Consequently, in this funding period it is proposed to examine and understand miniaturized piezotronic devices; in the next funding period, the biomaterial applications with the most successful piezotronic sensors are envisioned. The high resonance frequencies of the small needles require driving the sensors in ΔE mode. In order to apply the piezotronic concept in biomagnetic analytics, the advantages of piezotronic ME sensors, such as the small size and integrated pre-amplification, suggest them for the biomagnetic application of intracardiac probes. The intracardiac application is less challenging in terms of limit of detection (LOD), because the ME sensors in the body are much closer to the natural magnetic sources such as the heart and the field is 100 - 400 times stronger due to the proximity. The pre-amplification inside the piezotronic space charge region makes it robust for the long way out of the body, if they are used as catheter probes. Broadband low field detection will be enabled by a ΔE-effect sensor design that allows low field readout with high frequencies.


Involved Researchers

Person Role
Prof. Dr. Rainer Adelung
Materials Science
Functional Nanomaterials
Project lead
Dr. Sören Kaps
Materials Science
Functional Nanomaterials
Project lead
M.Sc. Martha Gerhardt
Materials Science
Functional Nanomaterials
Doctoral researcher


Role within the Collaborative Research Centre

Cooperate with the following projects:

A2 (Hybrid Magnetoelectric Sensors based on Mechanically Soft Composite Materials) Sensor undamping.
A4 (∆E-Effect Sensors) ∆E sensor readout.
A6 (Microstructure and Structural Change of Magnetoelectric and Piezotronic Sensors) TEM.
A8 (Modelling of Magnetoelectric Sensors) Modelling of the sensors.
Z1 (MEMS Magnetoelectric Sensor Fabrication) Sensor fabrication.
Z2 (Magnetoelectric Sensor Characterization) Sensor characterization.


Project-related Publications

M. Gerhard, L. Zimoch, C. Dorn, E. Elzenheimer, C. Bald, T. Lerg, J. Hoffmann, S. Kaps, M. Höft, G. Schmidt, S. Wulfinghoff, R. Adelung: Self-powered Elementary Hybrid Magnetoelectric Sensor, Nano Energy, vol. 115, 108720, 2023. 
P. Jordt, S. B. Hrkac, J. Gröttrup, A. Davydok, C. Krywka, N. Wolff, L. Kienle, R. Adelung, O. M. Magnussen, B. M. Murphy: Local Strain Distribution in ZnO Microstructures Visualized with Scanning Nano X-Ray Diffraction and Impact on Electrical Properties, Advanced Engineering Materials, vol. 23, issue 11, 110871, 2021.
M. Mintken, M. Schweichel, S. Schröder, S. Kaps, J. Carstensen, Y. K. Mishra, T. Strunskus, F. Faupel, R. Adelung: Nanogenerator and Piezotronic Inspired Concepts for Energy Efficient Magnetic Field Sensors, Nano Energy, vol. 56, pp. 420-425, 2019.
Y. K. Mishra, R. Adelung: ZnO Tetrapod Materials for Functional Applications, Materials Today, vol. 21, issue. 6, pp. 631-651, 2018.
I. Paulowicz, V. Postica, O. Lupan, N. Wolff, S. Shree, A. Cojocaru, M. Deng, Y. K. Mishra, I. Tiginyanu, L. Kienle, R. Adelung: Zinc Oxide Nanotetrapods with Four Different Arm Morphologies for Versatile Nanosensors, Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical, vol. 262, pp. 425-435, 2018.
D. Smazna, J. Rodrigues, S. Shree, V. Postica, G. Neubüser, A. F. Martins, N. B. Sedrine, N. K. Jena, L. Siebert, F. Schütt, O. Lupan, R. Ahuja, M. R. Correia, T. Monteiro, L. Kienle, Y. Yang, R. Adelung, Y. K. Mishra: Buckminsterfullerene Hybridized Zinc Oxide Tetrapods: Defects and Charge Transfer Induced Optical and Electrical Response, Nanoscale, vol. 10, issue 21, pp. 10050-10062, 2018.
O. Lupan, N. Wolff, V. Postica, T. Braniste, I. Paulowicz, V. Hrkac, Y. K. Mishra, I. Tiginyanu, L. Kienle, R. Adelung: Properties of a Single SnO2:Zn2SnO4 - Functionalized Nanowire Based Nanosensor, Ceramics International, vol. 44, issue 5, pp. 4859-4867, 2018.
O. Lupan, V. Postica, R. Adelung, F. Labat, I. Ciofini, U. Schürmann, L. Kienle, L. Chow, B. Viana, T. Pauporté: Functionalized Pd/ZnO Nanowires for Nanosensors, Physica Status Solidi, RRL, vol. 12, issue 1, 2018.
M. Hoppe, O. Lupan, V. Postica, N. Wolff, V. Duppel, L. Kienle, I. Tiginyanu, R. Adelung: ZnAl2O4-Functionalized Zinc Oxide Microstructures for Highly Selective Hydrogen Gas Sensing Applications, Physica Status Solidi A, vol. 215, issue 7, 2018.
S. B. Hrkac, C. T. Koops, M. Abes, C. Krywka, M. Müller, M. Burghammer, M. Sztucki, T. Dane, S. Kaps, Y. K. Mishra, R. Adelung, J. Schmalz, M. Gerken, E. Lage, C. Kirchhof, E. Quandt, O. M. Magnussen, B. M. Murphy: Tunable Strain in Magnetoelectric ZnO Microrod Composite Interfaces, ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces, 9 (30), pp. 25571–25577 , 2017.
S. Kaps, S. Bhowmick, J. Gröttrup, V. Hrkac, D. Stauffer, H. Guo, O. L. Warren, J. Adam, L. Kienle, A. M. Minor, R. Adelung, Y. K. Mishra: Piezoresistive Response of Quasi-One-Dimensional ZnO Nanowires Using an in Situ Electromechanical Device, Acs Omega, 2(6), pp. 2985-2993, 2017.
J. Gröttrup, V. Postica, N. Ababii, O. Lupan, C. Zamponi, D. Meyners, Y. K. Mishra, V. Sontea, I. Tiginyanu, R. Adelung: Size-dependent UV and Gas Sensing Response of Individual Fe2O3-ZnO:Fe Micro- and Nanowire Based Devices, Journal of Alloys and Compounds, vol. 701, pp. 920-925, 2017.
O. Lupan, V. Postica, J. Gröttrup, A. K. Mishra, N. H. de Leeuw, R. Adelung: Enhanced UV and Ethanol Vapour Sensing of a Single 3-D ZnO Tetrapod Alloyed with Fe2O3 Nanoparticles, Sensors and Actuators: B. Chemical, vol. 245, pp. 448-461, 2017.
O. Lupan, V. Postica, J. Gröttrup, A. K. Mishra, N. H. de Leeuw, J. F. C. Carreira, J. Rodrigues, N. Ben Sedrine, M. R. Correia, T. Monteiro, V. Cretu, I. Tiginyanu, D. Smazna, Y. K. Mishra, R. Adelung: Hybridization of Zinc Oxide Tetrapods for Selective Gas Sensing Applications, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, vol. 9, issue 4, pp. 4048-4099, 2017.