21 April 2017

New record NMR magnet reaches peak performance

Producing a high magnetic field that is also very stable and uniform, the unique Series Connected Hybrid magnet is being put to work on NMR experiments never before possible.

First some background

Scientists can use nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to develop and characterize novel materials and to study chemical and biological systems. Using NMR’s magnetic fields and radio waves, they pinpoint targeted elements in these materials and systems to better understand them. However, many elements in the periodic table — so-called quadrupolar nuclei — are exceptionally difficult to study using commercially-available NMR instruments because the signals they give off at those fields overlap each other.

What did engineers and researchers achieve?

In 2016, the MagLab’s new Series Connected Hybrid (SCH) magnet reached its world-record magnetic field of 36 teslas. More recently, it attained its performance specification of less than 1 part per million of field variation in both time (a property called stability, as shown in Fig. 1) and space a property called homogeneity, as shown in Fig. 2). In other words, the magnetic field varies very, very little across the volume in which experiments are conducted and the time during which they take place. This highly uniform and stable field enables solid-state NMR experiments at 50 percent higher field than previously possible.

Why is this important?

This high-field system, designed and built at the MagLab, will allow scientists to detect important quadrupolar nuclei such as oxygen, leading to new discoveries related to life and materials.


This research was conducted in the 36 tesla Series Connected Hybrid Magnet at the DC Field Facility located at Tallahassee.

Who did the research?

M.D. Bird1, W.W. Brey, T.A. Cross1, I.R. Dixon1, J. Toth1, Z. Gan1, S. Grant1, S.T. Hannahs1, G. Wu2

1MagLab – Florida State University; 2Queen's University, Canada

Why did this research need the MagLab?

The SCH is the culmination of more than a decade of development on novel superconducting and resistive magnets as well as technologies related to stabilization, shimming for homogeneity, probe development and unique magnet support infrastructure. The MagLab is the only organization worldwide to have the required expertise in all of these activities.

Details for scientists


This research was funded by the following grants: G.S. Boebinger (NSF DMR-1157490); M.D. Bird (NSF IMR-MIP DMR-0603042), W. W. Brey (NSF DMR-1039938), FSU Office of the Vice President for Research; FSU Magnet Research and Development, Inc.

For more information, contact Mark Bird.


  • Research Area: Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Magnet Resonance Technique Development, Magnet Technology
  • Research Initiatives: Energy, Life,Materials
  • Facility / Program: MS&T
  • Year: 2017
Last modified on 21 April 2017