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J Magn Reson. 2013 Nov;236:95-104. doi: 10.1016/j.jmr.2013.08.015. Epub 2013 Sep 13.

Multi-coil magnetic field modeling.

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Yale University School of Medicine, Department of Diagnostic Radiology, MR Research Center (MRRC), 300 Cedar Street, New Haven, CT 06520, USA. Electronic address:


The performance of multi-coil (MC) magnetic field modeling is compared to dedicated wire patterns for the generation of spherical harmonic (SH) shapes as these are the workhorse for spatial encoding and magnetic field homogenization in MR imaging and spectroscopy. To this end, an example 48 channel MC setup is analyzed and shown to be capable of generating all first through fourth order SH shapes over small and large regions-of-interest relevant for MR investigations. The MC efficiency for the generation of linear gradient fields shares the same order of magnitude with classic and state-of-the-art SH gradient coils. MC field modeling becomes progressively more efficient with the synthesis of more complex field shapes that require the combination of multiple SH terms. The possibility of a region-specific optimization of both magnetic field shapes and generation performance with the MC approach are discussed with emphasis on the possible trade-off between the field accuracy and generation efficiency. MC shimming has been shown previously to outperform current SH shimming. Along with the efficiency gains of MC shimming shown here, the MC concept has the potential to (1) replace conventional shim systems that are based on sets of dedicated SH coils and (2) allow optimal object-specific shim solutions similar to object-specific RF coils.


Accuracy; Efficiency; Magnetic fields; Modeling; Spherical harmonic functions

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