Earth's Field NMR - Applications

Applications

Applications of EFNMR include:

  • Proton precession magnetometers (PPM) or proton magnetometers, which produce magnetic resonance in a known sample in the magnetic field to be measured, measure the sample's resonant frequency, then calculate and display the field strength.
  • EFNMR spectrometers, which use the principle of NMR spectroscopy to analyse molecular structures in a variety of applications, from investigating the structure of ice crystals in polar ice-fields, to rocks and hydrocarbons on-site.
  • Earth's field MRI scanners, which use the principle of magnetic resonance imaging.

The advantages of the Earth's field instruments over conventional (high field strength) instruments include the portability of the equipment giving the ability to analyse substances on-site, and their lower cost. The much lower geomagnetic field strength, that would otherwise result in poor signal-to-noise ratios, is compensated by homogeneity of the Earth's field giving the ability to use much larger samples. Their relatively low cost and simplicity make them good educational tools.

Examples (illustrated) are the TeachSpin and Magritek's Terranova-MRI instruments.

Although those commercial EFNMR spectrometers and MRI instruments aimed at universities etc. are necessarily sophisticated and are too costly for most hobbyists, internet search engines find data and designs for basic proton precession magnetometers which claim to be within the capability of reasonably competent electronic hobbyists or undergraduate students to build from readily available components costing no more than a few tens of US dollars.

Read more about this topic:  Earth's Field NMR

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