Abstract

We present a theoretical study of optical magnetic-resonance imaging (OMRI), an extension of magnetic-resonance imaging to the optical frequency domain. OMRI images the spatial distribution of centers with field-dependent optical transitions by projection reconstruction from multiple tomographic scans. Spatial resolution is limited by magnetic-field gradient strengths and transition linewidths. These restrict the choice of systems accessible to OMRI, and rare-earth ions are identified as possible candidates. High-resolution laser spectroscopic techniques that overcome the effect of inhomogeneous broadening of electronic transitions are discussed. OMRI by transient hole-burning spectroscopy is presented as one approach for subwavelength spatial imaging, and its sensitivity is calculated. Submicrometer spatial resolution is possible by employing very-high-field gradients (>10 T/cm) and centers exhibiting megahertz linewidths.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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