Politecnico di Torino - Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 - 10129 Torino, ITALY

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SHRIMP – A PRECISE MAGNETOMETER

Magnetic field detectionMagnetometerNuclear magnetic resonanceRadiofrequency

Introduction

Similary to what is done for Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (EPR) measurements, a material can be magnetized and excited to measure weak AC fields. By coupling it to a resonator, the radiofrequency magnetic field sensitivity can be greatly enhanced. The study of suitable materials and resonators will permit the development of a new class of magnetometers, with sensitivity below the fT/√Hz at room temperature.

Technical features

The detection of ultra-low magnetic fields is a long standing technological challenge motivated by the many applications of magnetometers. The SHRIMP is a magnetometer which embodies the possibility of room temperature operation, high working frequency and ease of implementation, making it suitable for a number of applications.  The sensitivity limit of this device results competitive or superior with present state-of-the-art magnetometers. The principle of operation is based on field modulation techniques usually exploited in electron spin resonance measurements. To increase the sensitivity, the magnetized material can be coupled to a resonator, like the mode of a microwave resonant cavity. Numerous realizations of this device can be studied depending on its application, which ranges from NMR signals detection to fundamental physics.

Possible Applications

  • Medical diagnostics, and in particular in NMRs;
  • Scientific research, where the sensibility is necessary;
  • Material science, to study magnetic properties.
  • Geological exploration;
  • Military field, to devise magnetic radars.

Advantages

  • Extreme sensitivity;
  • Possibility of operation both at room temperature and at cryogenic temperature, without compromising the sensitivity;
  • Compactness and structural solidity;
  • Adaptability and variability depending on the selected application;
  • Ease of use.