A no-tune no-match wideband probe for nuclear quadrupole resonance spectroscopy in the VHF frequency range

Hermann Scharfetter, Andreas Petrovic, Heidi Eggenhofer, Rudolf Stollberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nuclear quadrupole resonance (NQR) spectroscopy is a method for the characterization of chemical compounds containing so-called quadrupolar nuclei. Similar to nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), the sample under investigation is irradiated with strong radiofrequency (RF) pulses, which stimulate the emission of weak RF signals from the quadrupolar nuclei. The signals are then amplified and Fourier transformed so as to obtain a spectrum. In principle, narrowband NQR spectra can be measured with NMR spectrometers. However, pure NQR signals require the absence of a static magnetic field and several special applications require the characterization of a substance over a large bandwidth, e.g. 50–100% of the central frequency, which is hardly possible with standard NMR equipment. Dedicated zero-field NQR equipment is not widespread and current concepts employ resonating probes which are tuned and matched over a wide range by using mechanical capacitors driven by stepper motors. While providing the highest signal to noise ratio (SNR) such probes are slow in operation and can only be operated from dedicated NMR consoles. We developed a low-cost NQR wideband probe without tuning and matching for applications in the very high frequency (VHF) range below 300 MHz. The probe coil was realized as part of a reactive network which approximates an exponential transmission line. The input reflection coefficient of the two developed prototype probe coils is ≤ 20 dB between 90–145 MHz and 74.5–99.5 MHz, respectively. Two wideband NQR spectra of published test substances were acquired with an SNR of better than 20 dB after sufficient averaging. The measured signals and the SNR correspond very well to the theoretically expected values and demonstrate the feasibility of the method. Because there is no need for tuning and matching, our probes can be operated easily from any available NMR console.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125501
JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • nuclear quadrupole resonace
  • spectroscopy
  • wideband probe

Fields of Expertise

  • Human- & Biotechnology

Treatment code (Nähere Zuordnung)

  • Experimental

Cite this