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Title: Dependence of Brownian and Néel relaxation times on magnetic field strength

Purpose: In magnetic particle imaging (MPI) and magnetic particle spectroscopy (MPS) the relaxation time of the magnetization in response to externally applied magnetic fields is determined by the Brownian and Néel relaxation mechanisms. Here the authors investigate the dependence of the relaxation times on the magnetic field strength and the implications for MPI and MPS. Methods: The Fokker–Planck equation with Brownian relaxation and the Fokker–Planck equation with Néel relaxation are solved numerically for a time-varying externally applied magnetic field, including a step-function, a sinusoidally varying, and a linearly ramped magnetic field. For magnetic fields that are applied as a step function, an eigenvalue approach is used to directly calculate both the Brownian and Néel relaxation times for a range of magnetic field strengths. For Néel relaxation, the eigenvalue calculations are compared to Brown's high-barrier approximation formula. Results: The relaxation times due to the Brownian or Néel mechanisms depend on the magnitude of the applied magnetic field. In particular, the Néel relaxation time is sensitive to the magnetic field strength, and varies by many orders of magnitude for nanoparticle properties and magnetic field strengths relevant for MPI and MPS. Therefore, the well-known zero-field relaxation times underestimate the actual relaxation times and,more » in particular, can underestimate the Néel relaxation time by many orders of magnitude. When only Néel relaxation is present—if the particles are embedded in a solid for instance—the authors found that there can be a strong magnetization response to a sinusoidal driving field, even if the period is much less than the zero-field relaxation time. For a ferrofluid in which both Brownian and Néel relaxation are present, only one relaxation mechanism may dominate depending on the magnetic field strength, the driving frequency (or ramp time), and the phase of the magnetization relative to the applied magnetic field. Conclusions: A simple treatment of Néel relaxation using the common zero-field relaxation time overestimates the relaxation time of the magnetization in situations relevant for MPI and MPS. For sinusoidally driven (or ramped) systems, whether or not a particular relaxation mechanism dominates or is even relevant depends on the magnetic field strength, the frequency (or ramp time), and the phase of the magnetization relative to the applied magnetic field.« less
Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Department of Physics, Case Western Reserve University, 10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44106 (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22251758
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Medical Physics; Journal Volume: 41; Journal Issue: 1; Other Information: (c) 2014 American Association of Physicists in Medicine; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; DIFFUSION BARRIERS; EIGENVALUES; MAGNETIC FIELDS; MAGNETIZATION; RELAXATION TIME; SPECTROSCOPY; VENTILATION BARRIERS