DOI: 10.1101/471391Nov 17, 2018Paper

On-scalp MEG system utilizing an actively shielded array of optically-pumped magnetometers

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Joonas IivanainenLauri Parkkonen

Abstract

The spatial resolution of magnetoencephalography (MEG) can be increased from that of conventional SQUID-based systems by employing on-scalp sensor arrays of e.g. optically-pumped magnetometers (OPMs). However, OPMs reach sufficient sensitivity for neuromagnetic measurements only when operated in a very low absolute magnetic field of few nanoteslas or less, usually not reached in a typical magnetically shielded room constructed for SQUID-based MEG. Moreover, field drifts affect the calibration of OPMs. Static and dynamic control of the ambient field is thus necessary for good-quality neuromagnetic measurements with OPMs. Here, we describe an on-scalp MEG system that utilizes OPMs and external compensation coils that provide static and dynamic shielding against ambient fields. In a conventional two-layer magnetically shielded room, our coil system reduced the maximum remanent DC-field component within an 8-channel OPM array from 70 to less than 1 nT, enabling the sensors to operate in the sensitive spin exchange relaxation-free regime. When compensating field drifts below 4 Hz, a low-frequency shielding factor of 22 dB was achieved, which reduced the peak-to-peak drift from 1.3 to 0.4 nT and thereby the standard deviation of the ...Continue Reading

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