Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Magnetic field imaging with microfabricated optically-pumped magnetometers



Orang Alem, Rahul Mhaskar, Ricardo Jimenez-Martinez, Dong Sheng, John LeBlanc, Lutz Trahms, Tilman Sander, Svenja A. Knappe


A multichannel imaging system is presented, consisting of 25 microfabricated optically-pumped magnetometers. The sensor probes have a footprint of less than 1 cm2 and a sensitive volume of (1.5 mm)3. They are connected to a control unit through optical fibers of length 5 m. At very low ambient magnetic fields, the magnetic sensors array has an average sensitivity of 24 fT/Hz1/2, with a standard deviation of 5 fT/Hz1/2 when the noise of each sensor is averaged between 10 and 50 Hz. In Earth's magnetic field, the magnetometers have a field sensitivity around 5 pT/Hz1/2. The vacuum-packaged sensor heads are optically heated and consume 76 ± 7 mW of power each. The heating power is provided by an array of 8 diode lasers. As an example, magnetic field images of small probe coils were obtained with the sensor array. Fits to the expected field pattern agree well with the measured data.
Optics Express


Laser sensors, Optical instruments, Micro-optical devices, Spectroscopy, atomic


Alem, O. , Mhaskar, R. , Jimenez-Martinez, R. , Sheng, D. , LeBlanc, J. , Trahms, L. , Sander, T. and Knappe, S. (2017), Magnetic field imaging with microfabricated optically-pumped magnetometers, Optics Express (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created March 27, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021