An apparatus and method for remote NMR/MRI spectroscopy having an encoding coil with a sample chamber, a supply of signal carriers, preferably hyperpolarized xenon and a detector allowing the spatial and temporal separation of signal preparation and signal detection steps. This separation allows the physical conditions and methods of the encoding and detection steps to be optimized independently. The encoding of the carrier molecules may take place in a high or a low magnetic field and conventional NMR pulse sequences can be split between encoding and detection steps. In one embodiment, the detector is a high magnetic field NMR apparatus. In another embodiment, the detector is a superconducting quantum interference device. A further embodiment uses optical detection of Rb--Xe spin exchange. Another embodiment uses an optical magnetometer using non-linear Faraday rotation. Concentration of the signal carriers in the detector can greatly improve the signal to noise ratio.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-AC0376F00098, awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in this invention.