Nav: Home

Miniaturizable magnetic resonance

November 12, 2015

A garnet crystal only one micrometre in diameter was instrumental in a University of Alberta team of physicists creating a route to "lab-on-a-chip" technology for magnetic resonance, a tool to simplify advanced magnetic analysis for device development and interdisciplinary science.

"To most, a gem so tiny would be worthless, but to us, it's priceless," says Mark Freeman, University of Alberta physics professor and Canada Research Chair in condensed matter physics. "It was the perfect testbed for this new method."

In the new method of measuring magnetic resonance, published in the November 13, 2015 issue of the journal Science, the signal is a mechanical twisting motion, detected with light. The new approach is more naturally suited to miniaturization than the current method, which creates an electrical signal by induction. In fact, the entire magnetic sensor unit created with the new technology can fit on a chip as small as one square centimetre.

"Our discovery makes the case that magnetic resonance is in essence both a mechanical and magnetic phenomenon on account of magnetic dipoles possessing angular momentum," says Freeman, noting that the concept of magnetism makes more sense when you consider its mechanical properties. "Magnetism needs better spin doctors than it has had. Everything in the world is magnetic on some level, so the possibilities for scientific applications of this new technique are endless."

The discovery opens up a world of possible miniaturized platforms for health care, technology, energy, environmental monitoring, and space exploration. Explains Freeman, "There are immediate applications in physics, Earth sciences, and engineering, but we have only looked at electron spin resonance. Proton spin resonance is the next big step that will open up applications in chemistry and biology."

To foster the development of these applications, Freeman's team plans to openly share the information about how to execute this technique, feeding the current maker movement. It was important to the team not to patent this discovery--as is often the pressure for scientists conducting these types of discoveries--but instead to publish their findings in a scientific journal to provide open-source access that will advance the field. "Ultimately, the way science makes progress is through people sharing discoveries," says Freeman, adding that he hopes others will adapt the technology for their own needs.

Freeman, who worked for IBM before coming to the University of Alberta, believes that chip-based miniaturizable mechanical devices--by virtue of their small scale and superior performance--will come to replace some electronic sensors in devices like smart phones and on space exploration probes. "It's an elegant solution to a challenging problem, simple but not obvious," says Freeman, who has been working on the experimental challenge solved in this paper for the past two decades. "Working in condensed matter physics is like having the best seat at an awe-inspiring parade of progress."
-end-
Postdoctoral fellow Joseph Losby, PhD candidate Fatemeh Fani Sani, and former undergraduate student Dylan Grandmont spearheaded the research under the guidance of Freeman, along with collaborators at the National Institute for Nanotechnology and the University of Manitoba. The findings, "Torque-Mixing Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy," were published in the journal Science.

University of Alberta

Related Magnetic Resonance Articles:

Even non-migratory birds use a magnetic compass
Not only migratory birds use a built-in magnetic compass to navigate correctly.
Fatty liver diagnosis improved with magnetic resonance
Taking tissue samples from the liver to diagnose fatty liver can be replaced in most cases by a painless magnetic resonance investigation.
Manipulating magnetic textures
While the ability to easily control the magnetic properties of small electronic systems is highly desirable for future small electronics and data storage, an effective solution has proven to be extremely elusive.
Magnetic fields at the crossroads
Almost all information that exists in contemporary society is recorded in magnetic media, like hard drive disks.
Three magnetic states for each hole
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for Computing.
Perspectives on magnetic reconnection
Article describes latest research on magnetic reconnection.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging to predict the salt content of Iberian ham
The University of Extremadura have developed a non-destructive, innocuous method using magnetic resonance, computer vision and statistical calculus that enables one to quantify the salt content of Iberian ham, and classify it according to the degree of penetration of the salt in the muscle.
MAGNDATA: Towards a database of magnetic structures
The quantitative characterisation of the magnetic ordering realised in magnetic phases is an essential part of research into the magnetic properties of solids.
Thermal modification of wood and a complex study of its properties by magnetic resonance
Researchers from Institute of Physics of Kazan Federal University, Institute of Perspective Research Tatarstan Academy of Sciences, and Nanoscience Department of Institut Neel conducted an investigation of various thermally treated wood species from the Central European part of Russia by magnetic resonance methods and revealed important changes in wood structure which were not available for observation by other methods.
Stochastic resonance, chaos transfer shown in an optomechanical microresonator
Researchers in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St.

Related Magnetic Resonance Reading:

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Physical and Biological Principles, 4e
by Stewart C. Bushong (Author)

The EACVI Textbook of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance (The European Society of Cardiology Series)
by Victor Ferrari (Author), Massimo Lombardi (Editor), Sven Plein (Editor), Steffen Petersen (Editor), Chiara Bucciarelli-Ducci (Editor), Emanuela Valsangiacomo Buechel (Editor), Cristina Basso (Editor)

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
by Scott A. Huettel (Author), Allen W. Song (Author), Gregory McCarthy (Author)

Spin Dynamics: Basics of Nuclear Magnetic Resonance
by Malcolm H. Levitt (Author)

Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Made Easy
by Anitha Varghese MBBS BSc MRCP (Author), Dudley J. Pennell MD FRCP FACC (Author)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging: Physical Principles and Sequence Design
by Robert W. Brown (Author), Y.-C. Norman Cheng (Author), E. Mark Haacke (Author), Michael R. Thompson (Author), Ramesh Venkatesan (Author)

MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING: step by step
by Alberto Dell'Aringa (Author), Maurizio Francesio (Author)

Principles of Magnetic Resonance (Springer Series in Solid-State Sciences) (v. 1)
by Charles P. Slichter (Author)

Principles of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
by Dwight G Nishimura (Author)

Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Contemporary Cardiology)
by Springer

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Bias And Perception
How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us. Guests include writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd, journalist Andreas Ekström, and experimental psychologist Tony Salvador.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#513 Dinosaur Tails
This week: dinosaurs! We're discussing dinosaur tails, bipedalism, paleontology public outreach, dinosaur MOOCs, and other neat dinosaur related things with Dr. Scott Persons from the University of Alberta, who is also the author of the book "Dinosaurs of the Alberta Badlands".