A compact, high performance atomic magnetometer for biomedical applications

Phys Med Biol. 2013 Nov 21;58(22):8153-61. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/58/22/8153.


We present a highly sensitive room-temperature atomic magnetometer (AM), designed for use in biomedical applications. The magnetometer sensor head is only 2 × 2 × 5 cm3 and is constructed using readily available, low-cost optical components. The magnetic field resolution of the AM is <10 fT Hz–1/2, which is comparable to cryogenically cooled superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) magnetometers. We present side-by-side comparisons between our AM and a SQUID magnetometer, and show that equally high quality magnetoencephalography and magnetocardiography recordings can be obtained using our AM.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Magnetocardiography / instrumentation*
  • Magnetoencephalography / instrumentation*
  • Magnetometry / instrumentation*