High Performance Magnetic Sensors And Sensing Tools for Subsurface Energy Applications - Emphasis on Oil &Gas

Abstract: The goal of the proposed research is to develop the state-of-the-art solid state magnetic field sensors using the latest technology, called MgO-based magnetic tunneling junctions. These high-performance magnetic sensors will be characterized by unprecedented sensitivity, low power consumption, high temperature operation, high frequency response, and miniaturized physical size. Through collaborative efforts, a complete magnetic sensor development platform will be created at KAUST that has the potential to transform oil & gas field exploration, drilling and production, including the identification of fractured wells.

Technology: Use of magnetic tunneling junctions (MJTs) sensors that offer high performance, unprecedented sensitivity (10-100x), low power consumption, high frequence response, and miniaturized physical size.


  • Reduced magnetic sensor design time and cost and high throughput design iteration. 
  • MJT fabrication quality, uniformity, and calibration for extreme oil and gas exploration, production and quality assurance and quality control.
  • Offers a range of industrial applications: electronics, automotive, and medical imaging.

Impact: Modernization of oil and gas field exploration operations, improvement in drilling and production decision analysis.

Investigator Roles
Expertize in magnetics, magnetic sensor development, and microelectronics fabrication
Modeling wellbore cement & fracture response to low frequency magnetic pulses or spin wave travel times
New magnet sensor design and fabrication
Test new MTJ sensor responses of wellbore cement and propped fractures
Publications: 19
Conferences: Unknown.
Patent Disclosure: 5 + 2 in preparation
Patent Granted: 0
Licenses: 0
Start-Up: 1 (under Taqadam)
Other Notable Outputs/Impacts: None.