International Journal on Magnetic Particle Imaging IJMPI
Vol. 3 No. 1 (2017): Int J Mag Part Imag

Research Articles

Towards a mechanical MPI scanner based on atomic magnetometry

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Simone Colombo (Physics Department, University of Fribourg), Victor Nikolaevich Lebedev (Physics Department, University of Fribourg), Alexey Tonyushkin (Physics Department, University of Massachusetts Boston), Zoran Dragan Grujic (Physics Department, University of Fribourg), Vladimir Dolgovskiy (Physics Department, University of Fribourg), Antoine Weis (Physics Department, University of Fribourg)


We report on our progress in the development of an atomic magnetometer (AM) based low-frequency X-space MPI scanner, expected to be free from SAR and PNS constraints. We address major challenges in coil and sensor design due to specific AM properties. Compared to our previous work we have changed the AM’s mode of operation towards its implementation for detecting weak SPIO response fields in the presence of nearby-located strong drive/selection fields. We demonstrate that a pump-probe AM scheme in a buffer gas filled alkali vapour cell can tolerate mT/m gradients while maintaining a sensitivity in the one-digit pT/Hz^1/2 range over a bandwidth from DC to several kHz. We give a detailed description of the drive/selection coils’ geometry and their hardware implementations that will provide both field-free-line (FFL) and field-free-point (FFP) modes of operation, compatible with a best performance AM operation. We estimate the achievable field of view and spatial resolution of the scanner as well as its sensitivity, assuming mechanical scanning of a Resovist sample through the field-free point/line.

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