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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Application of atomic magnetometry in magnetic particle detection

  • Author(s): Xu, Shoujun
  • Donaldson, Marcus H.
  • Pines, Alexander
  • Rochester, Simon M.
  • Budker, Dmitry
  • Yashchuk, Valeriy V.
  • et al.

We 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 ~;150 mum, multi-domain), a suspension of superparamagnetic magnetite particles (diameter ~;1 mum), and ferromagnetic cobalt nanoparticles (diameter ~;10 nm, 120 kA/m magnetization). Estimated detection limits are 20 mum diameter for a single cobalt particle at a water flow rate 30 ml/min, 5x103 magnetite particles at 160 ml/min, and 50 pl for the specific ferromagnetic fluid at 130 ml/min. Possible applications of our method are discussed.

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