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Application of atomic magnetometry in magnetic particle detection

  • Author(s): Xu, S
  • Donaldson, M H
  • Pines, A
  • Rochester, S M
  • Budker, D
  • Yashchuk, V V
  • et al.
Abstract

The authors demonstrate the detection of magnetic particles carried by water in a continuous flow using an atomic magnetic gradiometer. Studies on three types of magnetic particles are presented: a single cobalt particle (diameter similar to 150 mu m, multidomain), a suspension of superparamagnetic magnetite particles (diameter similar to 1 mu m), and ferromagnetic cobalt nanoparticles (diameter similar to 10 nm). Estimated detection limits are 20 mu m diameter for a single cobalt particle at a water flow rate of 30 ml/min, 5x10(3) magnetite particles at 160 ml/min, and 50 pl for the ferromagnetic fluid of cobalt nanoparticles at 130 ml/min. Possible applications of their method are discussed.

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