Rapid-scan electron paramagnetic resonance using an EPR-on-a-Chip sensor

Künstner, Silvio; Chu, Anh; Dinse, Klaus-Peter; Schnegg, Alexander; McPeak, Joseph E.; Naydenov, Boris; Anders, Jens; Lips, Klaus

Electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy is the method of choice to investigate and quantify paramagnetic species in many scientific fields, including materials science and the life sciences. Common EPR spectrometers use electromagnets and microwave (MW) resonators, limiting their application to dedicated lab environments. Here, novel aspects of voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO)-based EPR-on-a-Chip (EPRoC) detectors are discussed, which have recently gained interest in the EPR community. More specifically, it is demonstrated that with a VCO-based EPRoC detector, the amplitude-sensitive mode of detection can be used to perform very fast rapid-scan EPR experiments with a comparatively simple experimental setup to improve sensitivity compared to the continuous-wave regime. In place of a MW resonator, VCO-based EPRoC detectors use an array of injection-locked VCOs, each incorporating a miniaturized planar coil as a combined microwave source and detector. A striking advantage of the VCO-based approach is the possibility of replacing the conventionally used magnetic field sweeps with frequency sweeps with very high agility and near-constant sensitivity. Here, proof-of-concept rapid-scan EPR (RS-EPRoC) experiments are performed by sweeping the frequency of the EPRoC VCO array with up to 400 THz sinline-formula−1, corresponding to a field sweep rate of 14 kT sinline-formula−1. The resulting time-domain RS-EPRoC signals of a micrometer-scale BDPA sample can be transformed into the corresponding absorption EPR signals with high precision. Considering currently available technology, the frequency sweep range may be extended to 320 MHz, indicating that RS-EPRoC shows great promise for future sensitivity enhancements in the rapid-scan regime.



Künstner, Silvio / Chu, Anh / Dinse, Klaus-Peter / et al: Rapid-scan electron paramagnetic resonance using an EPR-on-a-Chip sensor. 2021. Copernicus Publications.


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