Continuous-wave NMR imaging of solids

David J. Lurie*, Stephen J. McCallum, James M.S. Hutchison, Marcello Alecci

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Current pulsed nuclear magnetic resonance methods of imaging samples such as solids with short spin-spin relaxation times are restricted to use with T2 values longer than approximately 10 μs. In the present study a method of imaging ultra-short T2 samples using continuous-wave, swept-field NMR is presented that, in principle, will be able to overcome this restriction. The technique is identical to that used in continuous-wave electron paramagnetic resonance imaging of paramagnetic species and involves irradiating the sample continuously with a radiofrequency excitation in the presence of a strong stationary magnetic field gradient. When the main magnetic field is swept over a suitable range, the variation of the NMR absorption signal with applied magnetic field yields a one-dimensional projection of the object under study along the gradient direction. Two- or three-dimensional image data sets may be reconstructed from projections that are obtained by applying the gradient in different directions. Signal-to-noise ratio can be improved by modulating the magnetic field and employing a lock-in amplifier to recover signal variations at the audio modulation frequency. Preliminary experiments were performed using a 7 Tesla magnet and a 300 MHz continuous-wave radiofrequency bridge with lock-in detection. The apparatus is described and the results of pilot experiments that employed vulcanized rubber samples are presented. The ability of the technique to detect short T2 samples was demonstrated by the presence of a background signal from the Perspex former of the birdcage resonator used for signal reception.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
JournalMagnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1996


  • continuous wave
  • high field
  • imaging
  • solids
  • swept field


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