Free-induction-decay magnetic field imaging with a microfabricated Cs vapor cell


Magnetic field imaging is a valuable resource for signal source localization and characterization. This work reports an optically pumped magnetometer (OPM) based on the free-induction-decay (FID) protocol, that implements microfabricated cesium (Cs) vapor cell technology to visualize the magnetic field distributions resulting from various magnetic sources placed close to the cell. The slow diffusion of Cs atoms in the presence of a nitrogen (N2) buffer gas enables spatially independent measurements to be made within the same vapor cell by translating a 175 μm diameter probe beam over the sensing area. For example, the OPM was used to record temporal and spatial information to reconstruct magnetic field distributions in one and two dimensions. The optimal magnetometer sensitivity was estimated to be 0.43 pT/√Hz within a Nyquist limited bandwidth of 500 Hz. Furthermore, the sensor’s dynamic range exceeds the Earth’s field of approximately 50 μT, which provides a framework for magnetic field imaging in unshielded environments.

Optics Express