Abstract

Superconducting quantum interference devices (SQUIDs) are intrinsically very sensitive detectors of magnetic flux. Flux sensitivities of one millionth of a flux quantum per root Hz (1μϕ0/√Hz) may typically be realized in low-temperature superconductor (LTS) materials, while sensitivities of ∼5μϕ0/√Hz may be realized in high-temperature superconductor (HTS) materials. LTS devices are typically cooled with liquid helium (4 K) while HTS devices are typically cooled with liquid nitrogen (77 K). Coupling the magnetic field into a SQUID via a flux-transformer can result in a very sensitive magnetometer with, depending on the type of superconducting material used and the effective area of the flux-coupling transformer, achievable magnetic field sensitivities ranging from fT/√Hz to pT/√Hz over typical bandwidths that span hundreds of kHz. SQUID applications include NDE, biomagnetism and magnetic microscopes.

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