UMRAM/NSC-ASBAM Spring 2024 Seminars: “Zero to ultralow-field NMR and MRI with optically pumped magnetometers”

Dr. Deniz Aybas Tumturk

Bilkent University 

Date/Time: Thursday, 18 April 2024, 16:30-17:30
Location: SC-106

Abstract: We use optically pumped alkali atoms near room-temperature to measure perturbations in the local magnetic fields. These perturbations can be sourced from astrophysical particles that have magnetic signatures, or from nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) signals of liquid or solid samples. Optically pumped magnetometers result in a field sensitivity comparable to the Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs) which require cryogenic temperatures to operate. When measuring NMR, optically pumped magnetometers can probe the J-coupling between nuclear spins. This does not require the generation of a large static magnetic field with a superconducting coil, therefore is called Zero to ultralow-field (ZULF) NMR. If optical magnetometers are successfully miniaturized with reasonable coherence times, they can potentially lead to a novel method of performing low-cost magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In this talk, I will introduce optically pumped magnetometers, explain their use in ZULF NMR, our work in Bilkent, and finally the plausibility of ZULF MRI.

About the Speaker: Deniz Aybaş Tümtürk is an Assistant Professor of Physics at Bilkent University. Prior to joining Bilkent, she was a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California at Berkeley for two years. She received her PhD in Electrical Engineering from Boston University in 2021, where she was a Research Assistant in the Physics Department for seven years. She had received her BSc in Electrical and Electronics Engineering with a Minor in Physics from Middle East Technical University in 2014. She does experimental research on atomic, molecular, and optical physics for probing spin interactions and fundamental particle searches.