1 Introduction

Edwin Herbert Hall discovered the “Hall effect” in 1879 while working on his doctoral thesis in Physics investigating the influence of magnets on the resistance of a coil excited by a current. Hall discovered that a magnetic field would skew equipotential lines in a current-carrying conductor. This effect is observed as a voltage (Hall voltage) perpendicular to the direction of the current in the conductor.

The magnitude of this discovery is even more impressive considering how little was known about electricity in his time. The electron, for instance, was not identified until more than 10 years later.

The “Hall effect” remained a laboratory curiosity until the latter half of the XX century because the materials available, such as metals, would only produce small Hall voltages. With the advent of semiconductor technology and the development of various III-V compounds, it became possible to produce Hall voltages many orders of magnitude greater, allowing the production of Hall sensors, mostly made of indium antimonide (\(\mathrm{InSb}\)), indium arsenide (\(\mathrm{InAs}\)) and gallium arsenide (\(\mathrm{GaAs}\)).