Optical Polarization of Noble Gases

The main research topic at the Laboratory of Optical Polarization of Noble Gases is the production of nuclear hyperpolarization (HP) in 3He and 129Xe (the nuclei of these gas atoms are characterized by a nuclear spin one-half). The 3He and 129Xe nuclear hyperpolarization state is used for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and imaging. The Laboratory has built a 129Xe polarizer that uses the SEOP (Spin Exchange Optical Pumping) method.

The gas polarization state is measured with a pulse NMR spectrometer (Magritek, Aurora), and the tests of HP Xe-containing phantoms are performed in a low-field (using a permanent magnet B = 0.089T, working area 0.1 m) MRI scanner (with S.M.I.S console). The aforementioned scanner is equipped with a multi-nuclear system for 1H, 3He and 129Xe measurements. 3He hyperpolarization is carried out using the MEOP (Metsatability Exchange Optical Pumping) method and takes place in a polarizer operating in a high magnetic field of a clinical MRI scanner (currently installed at the John Paul II Specialist Hospital in Krakow).

The MEOP polarizer, MRI scanner and an innovative ventilator (built by the consortium to which the Laboratory belongs) enable imaging of the inside of human lungs. It is planned to equip the Laboratory with a high-field NMR spectrometer (Bruker, Avance, 7 T) enabling measurements in a wide frequency range. The first experiments using this system will be to measure the chemical shift of the NMR signal from the HP 129Xe dissolved in the blood. Another planned experiment will be the measurement of the chemical shift of the NMR signal from 3He enclosed in the C60 fullerenes (the research will be carried out as part of a grant jointly with the University of Southampton).

Group members
  • Dr. Tadeusz Pałas - Head
  • Prof. dr hab. Tomasz Dohnalik
  • Lutosława Mikowska - PhD Student
Contact
dr. Tadeusz Pałasz
room: C-1-30
phone: 12 664 46 52
email: tadeusz.palasz@uj.edu.pl