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Core Facility for the Measurement of Ultra-Low Magnetic Fields

PTB makes its unique biomedical measuring equipment accessible to external users


Since 1 May 2017, the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt has operated a new Core Facility, called "Metrology of Ultra-Low Magnetic Fields", at its site in Berlin-Charlottenburg. Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), PTB allows external scientists from universities, from international metrology institutes and from companies to access its know-how and its range of instruments for the measurement of ultra-low magnetic fields – instruments that are unique throughout the world.

Magnetically super-shielded room (BMSR-2)

Left: Measurement set-up for ultra-low-field nuclear magnetic resonance

Logo of the Core Facility "Metrolgoy für Ultra-Low Magnetic fields"

PTB has an excellent reputation in the field of biomedical metrology. Besides several magnetically shielded rooms, the Berlin Institute of PTB has housed the magnetically super-shielded room (BMSR-2) since 2004. With a shielding factor of more than 10,000,000, a residual magnetic field of less than 500 pT, and a gradient of 1.2 pT/mm, this room offers unique conditions for extremely high-resolution magnetic field measurements. Only by means of specially manufactured nonmagnetic structures, and by selecting and carefully characterizing suitable materials, was it possible to construct this room. SQUID magnetometers developed by PTB itself are used as sensors; they are able to detect magnetic fields down to just a few femtoteslas. With a noise as low as 150 aT/√Hz, they are among the most sensitive SQUID systems in the world.

At PTB, this measurement technology is used to carry out research on topics related to biosignal detection and processing, the nuclear spin precession of hyperpolarized noble gases, the characterization of magnetic nanoparticles and ultra-low-field nuclear magnetic resonance. Due to these versatile activities, PTB's scientists have been able to gather extensive experience in the field of metrology for ultra-low magnetic fields.

For many years, these unique measurement facilities and capabilities have not only been used in PTB's own metrological activities, but have also been in increasing demand by external scientists from universities and industry. The Core Facility called "Metrology of Ultra-Low Magnetic Fields" is a new platform supporting in-house and external users in the best possible way within the scope of their research projects in the field of magnetic metrology.

Contact person
Dr. Martin Burghoff, PTB Working Group 8.22 Metrology of Ultra-Low Magnetic Fields, Phone: +49 (0)30 3481-7238, e-mail: martin.burghoff@ptb.de

For further information on PTB's new Core Facility, please visit: Opens internal link in current windowhttp://www.ptb.de/cms/ptb/institute-und-forschergruppen/geraetezentrum-8-2.html