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J Magn Reson. 2007 Apr;185(2):259-63. Epub 2007 Jan 10.

Microwave frequency modulation in CW EPR at W-band using a loop-gap resonator.

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  • 1Department of Biophysics, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509, USA.


Loop-gap resonator (LGR) technology has been extended to W-band (94GHz). One output of a multiarm Q-band (35GHz) EPR bridge was translated to W-band for sample irradiation by mixing with 59 GHz; similarly, the EPR signal was translated back to Q-band for detection. A cavity resonant in the cylindrical TE011 mode suitable for use with 100 kHz field modulation has also been developed. Results using microwave frequency modulation (FM) at 50 kHz as an alternative to magnetic field modulation are described. FM was accomplished by modulating a varactor coupled to the 59 GHz oscillator. A spin-label study of sensitivity was performed under conditions of overmodulation and gamma2H1(2)T1T2<1. EPR spectra were obtained, both absorption and dispersion, by lock-in detection at the fundamental modulation frequency (50 kHz), and also at the second and third harmonics (100 and 150 kHz). Source noise was deleterious in first harmonic spectra, but was very low in second and third harmonic spectra. First harmonic microwave FM was transferred to microwave modulation at second and third harmonics by the spins, thus satisfying the "transfer of modulation" principle. The loaded Q-value of the LGR with sample was 90 (i.e., a bandwidth between 3 dB points of about 1 GHz), the resonator efficiency parameter was calculated to be 9.3 G at one W incident power, and the frequency deviation was 11.3 MHz p-p, which is equivalent to a field modulation amplitude of 4 G. W-band EPR using an LGR is a favorable configuration for microwave FM experiments.

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