An optimized microfabricated platform for the optical generation and detection of hyperpolarized 129Xe
Daniel Kennedy, Scott J. Seltzer, Ricardo Jimenez Martinez, Hattie L. Ring, Nicolas S. Malecek, Svenja A. Knappe, Elizabeth A. Donley, John E. Kitching, Vikram S. Bajaj, Alexander Pines
Low thermal-equilibrium nuclear spin polarizations and the need for sophisticated instrumentation render conventional nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging incompatible with small-scale microfluidic devices. Recently a microfabricated device with modest instrumentation demonstrated all-optical hyperpolarization and detection of 129Xe but achieved polarizations of only ~0.5%. Moreover, microfluidic transport of hyperpolarized 129Xe was limited to millimeter lengths. Higher polarizations, versatile detection schemes, and flow of 129Xe over larger distances are desirable for wider applications. Here we demonstrate an ultra-sensitive microfabricated platform that achieves 129Xe polarizations reaching 10%, lifetimes reaching 10 seconds, and simultaneous in situ detection with signal-to-noise of 106 and ex situ detection at ambient conditions. 129Xe is hyperpolarized and detected in two different locations separated by more than 1 cm. Our versatile device is an optimal platform for microfluidic magnetic resonance in particular, but equally attractive for wider nuclear spin applications benefitting from ultra-sensitive detection, long coherences, and simple instrumentation.