Optimal bi-planar gradient coil configurations for diamond nitrogen-vacancy based diffusion-weighted NMR experiments

Philipp Amrein, Fleming Bruckmaier, Feng Jia, Dominik B. Bucher, Maxim Zaitsev, Sebastian Littin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Diffusion weighting in optically detected magnetic resonance experiments involving diamond nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers can provide valuable microstructural information. Bi-planar gradient coils employed for diffusion weighting afford excellent spatial access, essential for integrating the NV-NMR components. Nevertheless, owing to the polar tilt of roughly 55 of the diamond NV center, the primary magnetic field direction must be taken into account accordingly. Methods: To determine the most effective bi-planar gradient coil configurations, we conducted an investigation into the impact of various factors, including the square side length, surface separation, and surface orientation. This was accomplished by generating over 500 bi-planar surface configurations using automated methods. Results: We successfully generated and evaluated coil layouts in terms of sensitivity and field accuracy. Interestingly, inclined bi-planar orientations close to the NV–NMR setup’s requirement, showed higher sensitivity for the transverse gradient channels than horizontal or vertical orientations. We fabricated a suitable solution as a three-channel bi-planar double-layered PCB system and experimentally validated the sensitivities at 28.7 m T/ m/ A and 26.8 m T/ m/ A for the transverse Gx and Gy gradients, and 26 m T/ m/ A for the Gz gradient. Discussion: We found that the chosen relative bi-planar tilt of 35 represents a reasonable compromise in terms of overall performance and allows for easier coil implementation with a straight, horizontal alignment within the overall experimental setup.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)921-932
Number of pages12
JournalMagnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Diamonds
  • Diffusion weighted imaging
  • Gradient coils
  • MRI
  • Magnetic resonance
  • NV centers
  • NV–NMR
  • Quantum Sensing


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