Scaling of sensitivity and efficiency in planar microresonators for electron spin resonance

Rev Sci Instrum. 2008 Aug;79(8):084702. doi: 10.1063/1.2964926.


Electron spin resonance (ESR) of volume-limited samples or nanostructured materials can be made significantly more efficient by using microresonators whose size matches that of the structures under investigation. We describe a series of planar microresonators that show large improvements over conventional ESR resonators in terms of microwave conversion efficiency (microwave field strength for a given input power) and sensitivity (minimum number of detectable spins). We explore the dependence of these parameters on the size of the resonator and find that both scale almost linearly with the inverse of the resonator size. Scaling down the loops of the planar microresonators from 500 down to 20 mum improves the microwave efficiency and the sensitivity of these structures by more than an order of magnitude and reduces the microwave power requirements by more than two orders of magnitude.