Measuring small compartment dimensions by probing diffusion dynamics via Non-uniform Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo NOGSE NMR | J. Magn. Reson. (2013)
Measuring small compartment dimensions by probing diffusion dynamics via Non-uniform Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo NOGSE NMR
Noam Shemesh, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Lucio Frydman.
Department of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.
•NOGSE, a novel diffusion MR approach for measuring pore sizes, is presented and analyzed.
•NOGSE is based on a constant time and a constant number of oscillating gradients.
•Experiments on microstructural phantoms, spinal cords and brains, validate NOGSE.
Noninvasive measurements of microstructure in materials, cells, and in biological tissues, constitute a unique capability of gradient-assisted NMR. Diffusion–diffraction MR approaches pioneered by Callaghan demonstrated this ability; Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo OGSE methodologies tackle the demanding gradient amplitudes required for observing diffraction patterns by utilizing constant-frequency oscillating gradient pairs that probe the diffusion spectrum, Dω. Here we present a new class of diffusion MR experiments, termed Non-uniform Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo NOGSE, which dynamically probe multiple frequencies of the diffusion spectral density at once, thus affording direct microstructural information on the compartment’s dimension. The NOGSE methodology applies N constant-amplitude gradient oscillations; N − 1 of these oscillations are spaced by a characteristic time x, followed by a single gradient oscillation characterized by a time y, such that the diffusion dynamics is probed while keeping N − 1x + y ≡ TNOGSE constant. These constant-time, fixed-gradient-amplitude, multi-frequency attributes render NOGSE particularly useful for probing small compartment dimensions with relatively weak gradients – alleviating difficulties associated with probing Dω frequency-by-frequency or with varying relaxation weightings, as in other diffusion-monitoring experiments. Analytical descriptions of the NOGSE signal are given, and the sequence’s ability to extract small compartment sizes with a sensitivity towards length to the sixth power, is demonstrated using a microstructural phantom. Excellent agreement between theory and experiments was evidenced even upon applying weak gradient amplitudes. An MR imaging version of NOGSE was also implemented in ex vivo pig spinal cords and mouse brains, affording maps based on compartment sizes. The effects of size distributions on NOGSE are also briefly analyzed.
Restricted diffusion; Oscillating gradients; OGSE; Microstructure; Magnetic resonance imaging; CNS; Gradient echoes; Selective dynamical recoupling
Robustness of dynamical decoupling sequences
Mustafa Ahmed Ali Ahmed [1,2], Gonzalo A. Álvarez [1,3], and Dieter Suter 
1Fakultät Physik, Technische Universität Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany
2Department of Physics, International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan
3Department of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
Active protection of quantum states is an essential prerequisite for the implementation of quantum computing. Dynamical decoupling (DD) is a promising approach that applies sequences of control pulses to the system in order to reduce the adverse effect of system-environment interactions. Since every hardware device has finite precision, the errors of the DD control pulses can themselves destroy the stored information rather than protect it. We experimentally compare the performance of different DD sequences in the presence of an environment that was chosen such that all relevant DD sequences can equally suppress its effect on the system. Under these conditions, the remaining decay of the qubits under DD allows us to compare very precisely the robustness of the different DD sequences with respect to imperfections of the control pulses.
©2013 American Physical Society
Review article: Robust dynamical decoupling
Alexandre M. Souza, Gonzalo A. Álvarez and Dieter Suter
Fakultät Physik, Technische Universität Dortmund, 44221 Dortmund, Germany
Quantum computers, which process information encoded in quantum mechanical systems, hold the potential to solve some of the hardest computational problems. A substantial obstacle for the further development of quantum computers is the fact that the lifetime of quantum information is usually too short to allow practical computation. A promising method for increasing the lifetime, known as dynamical decoupling (DD), consists of applying a periodic series of inversion pulses to the quantum bits. In the present review, we give an overview of this technique and compare different pulse sequences proposed earlier. We show that pulse imperfections, which are always present in experimental implementations, limit the performance of DD. The loss of coherence due to the accumulation of pulse errors can even exceed the perturbation from the environment. This effect can be largely eliminated by a judicious design of pulses and sequences. The corresponding sequences are largely immune to pulse imperfections and provide an increase of the coherence time of the system by several orders of magnitude.