We describe a liquid helium cryostat, developed to cool SQUID-based receivers in low field MRI systems. The cryostat has a 4 L liquid helium capacity, a hold time of over 3 days and accommodates 10 cm diameter receiver coils. New vacuum insulation methods reduce the noise level by at least an order of magnitude compared to existing commercial designs. The minimum detectable field at 425 kHz, with a 5 cm diameter circular coil, was estimated to be 0.018 fT/Hz (1/2) from Q-factor measurements and 0.035 fT/Hz (1/2) by direct measurement with a SQUID amplifier. Further measurements indicated that most of this field noise probably originates with dielectric losses in the cryostat's fibreglass shells. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
- liquid helium
- QUANTUM INTERFERENCE DEVICE