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We describe a low field, bench-top MRI system for small samples, based on a permanent magnet. Signals are received at 830 kHz using a tuned SQUID magnetometer, cooled in a modified liquid helium cryostat. The SQUID input circuit has an intrinsic Q -factor of 28,000, so this is damped by flux-locking electronics and an additional feedback loop to give an effective Q of between 40 and 200 for imaging. The resonant frequency is adjusted by a control rod coupled to a trimmer capacitor mounted in the liquid helium volume. Images of a test object acquired using the cooled receiver exhibit up to two-fold SNR gains in regions close to the sensor, compared to an equivalent room temperature coil, with the noise level dominated by losses coupled from the magnet pole faces. © 2007 IEEE.

Original publication




Conference paper

Publication Date





850 - 853