Available Technology

Using Pulse Sequences to Achieve High Resolution NMR/MRI with Simplified Hardware IB-2026

Alexander Pines and colleagues at Berkeley Labs have made it possible to obtain high resolution NMR and MRI without expensive and immobile superconducting magnets. The method uses advanced software control of the RF and gradient pulses to reshape the magnetic field produced by auxiliary coils, effectively substituting software for the bulky hardware used for conventional magnet shimming. The invention is anticipated to reduce the required homogeneity over the sample volume by an order of magnitude. The Berkeley Lab invention reduces the linewidth of the NMR spectrum and provides non-distorted images using simpler, smaller, and less expensive gradient coils. It captures valuable structural and dynamic information that enables accurate material identification and product control. The shim pulse invention acquires spectra more rapidly and accommodates larger sample volumes than conventional magnet systems. Multiple samples can also be examined simultaneously. Simulated example of the linewidth narrowing that can be achieved using the Berkeley Lab shim pulse method for a sample in a magnetic field inhomogeneity.Shim pulse with amplitude (AM) and frequency (FM) modulation of the RF field together with modulated gradient fields (Gx,Gy,Gz). - -
Achieves high resolution with inexpensive, smaller, and simplified magnets - Anticipated to reduce the required homogeneity over the sample volume by an order of magnitude - Enables the use of larger sample volumes resulting in larger signals and greater sensitivity - Allows several samples to be placed inside the same magnet for high throughput NMR/MRI - Enables ex-situ spectroscopy without the requirement for field matching
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
Patent Status: 
Issued Patent # 7,439,738. Available for licensing or collaborative research.
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