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Core Facility “Metrology of Ultra-Low Magnetic Fields”

External scientists can use PTB's excellent equipment

PTB-News 2.2017
Especially interesting for

biomedical research

nanoparticle research

fundamental research in physics

magnetic resonance in very small magnetic fields

Since the beginning of this year, the DFG has been promoting the establishment and operation of the Core Facility “Metrology of Ultra-Low Magnetic Fields” at PTB. In this way, PTB grants external scientists from universities, international metrology institutes and companies access to its know-how and its equipment for the measurement of extremely small magnetic fields which is unique worldwide.

Left: External view of the best walk-in magnetically shielded room (BMSR-2) – the heart of the core facility. Middle: Work station for the characterization of magnetic nanoparticles Right: The logo of the new Core Facility

PTB has an excellent reputation in the field of biomedical metrology. Besides several magnetically shielded rooms, the Berlin Institute of PTB installed the best walk-in magnetically shielded room (BMSR-2) in 2004. With a shielding factor of more than 10,000,000, a remaining field of less than 500 pT, and a gradient of 1.2 pT/mm, this room offers conditions that are unique worldwide for magnetic field measurements with the highest resolution. This room could only be implemented by means of specially manufactured nonmagnetic structures and by selecting and carefully characterizing suitable materials.

SQUID magnetometers, which were developed by PTB, 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, the measurement technology developed is used to carry out research on topics relating 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, the scientists from PTB have been able to gather exhaustive experience in the field of metrology of ultra-low magnetic fields.

For many years, these measuring facilities and capabilities which are unique in the world have not only served PTB's metrological activities, but have also been increasingly used by external scientists from universities and industry. The Core Facility “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.


Martin Burghoff
Department 8.2 Biosignals
Phone: +49 (0)30 3481-7238
Opens window for sending emailmartin.burghoff(at)ptb