Pushing the NMR sensitivity envelope

PHYS 244

Andrew G Webb, agw@engr.psu.edu, Department of Bioengineering, Penn State University, 315 Hallowell Building, University Park, PA 16802
In the majority of magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging experiments, signal-to-noise is the factor which ultimately limits the types of measurements that can be performed. Within the confines of inductive detection, high magnetic fields, small radiofrequency coils, hyperpolarized nuclei and cryogenic detectors can all be used to improve the limits of detection, with the ultimate aim encompassing a combination of all of these techniques. More recently new methods of detection such as magnetic resonance force microscopy, SQUIDs and atomic magnetometers have been proposed for high sensitivity detection. This talk will discuss each of these approaches in context of the ultimate sensitivity and information content.