Abstract

We describe an array of spin-exchange-relaxation-free optical magnetometers designed for detection of fetal magnetocardiography (fMCG). The individual magnetometers are configured with a small volume with intense optical pumping, surrounded by a large pump-free region. Spin-polarized atoms that diffuse out of the optical pumping region precess in the ambient magnetic field and are detected by a probe laser. Four such magnetometers, at the corners of a 7 cm square, are configured for gradiometry by feeding back the output of one magnetometer to a field coil to null uniform magnetic field noise at frequencies up to 200 Hz. We present the first measurements of fMCG signals using an atomic magnetometer.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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