High-sensitivity Q-band electron spin resonance imaging system with submicron resolution

Shtirberg, Lazar; Twig, Ygal; Dikarov, Ekaterina; Halevy, Revital; Levit, Michael; Blank, Aharon
April 2011
Review of Scientific Instruments;Apr2011, Vol. 82 Issue 4, p043708
Academic Journal
A pulsed electron spin resonance (ESR) microimaging system operating at the Q-band frequency range is presented. The system includes a pulsed ESR spectrometer, gradient drivers, and a unique high-sensitivity imaging probe. The pulsed gradient drivers are capable of producing peak currents ranging from ∼9 A for short 150 ns pulses up to more than 94 A for long 1400 ns gradient pulses. Under optimal conditions, the imaging probe provides spin sensitivity of ∼1.6 × 108 spins/[Square_Root]Hz or ∼2.7 × 106 spins for 1 h of acquisition. This combination of high gradients and high spin sensitivity enables the acquisition of ESR images with a resolution down to ∼440 nm for a high spin concentration solid sample (∼108 spins/μm3) and ∼6.7 μm for a low spin concentration liquid sample (∼6 × 105 spins/μm3). Potential applications of this system range from the imaging of point defects in crystals and semiconductors to measurements of oxygen concentration in biological samples.


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