Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/mr-2021-42
https://doi.org/10.5194/mr-2021-42

  12 May 2021

12 May 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal MR.

On the modeling of amplitude-sensitive ESR detection using VCO-based ESR-on-a-chip detectors

Anh Chu1, Benedikt Schlecker1, Michal Kern1, Justin L. Goodsell2, Alexander Angerhofer2, Klaus Lips3, and Jens Anders4 Anh Chu et al.
  • 1Institute of Smart Sensors, University of Stuttgart, Pfaffenwaldring 47, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany
  • 2Department of Chemistry, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL32611-7200, USA
  • 3Department Spins in Energy Materials and Quantum Information Science (ASPIN), Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie, Hahn-Meitner-Platz 1, 14109 Berlin, Germany
  • 4University of Stuttgart, Institute of Smart Sensors and IQST (Center for Integrated Quantum Science and Technology), Pfaffenwaldring 47, 70569 Stuttgart, Germany

Abstract. In this paper, we present an in-depth analysis of a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) based sensing method for electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy, which greatly simplifies the experimental setup compared to conventional detection schemes. In contrast to our previous oscillator-based ESR detectors, where the ESR signal was encoded in the oscillation frequency, in the amplitude-sensitive method, the ESR signal is sensed as a change of the oscillation amplitude of the VCO. Therefore, using a VCO architecture with a built-in amplitude demodulation scheme, the experimental setup reduces to a single permanent magnet in combination with a few inexpensive electronic components. We present a theoretical analysis of the achievable limit of detection, which uses a perturbation theory based VCO-modeling for the signal and applies a stochastic averaging approach to obtain a closed-form expression for the noise floor. Additionally, the paper also introduces a numerical model suitable for simulating oscillator-based ESR experiments in a conventional circuit simulator environment. This model can, e.g., be used to optimize sensor performance early on in the design phase. Finally, all presented models are verified against measured results from a prototype VCO operating at 14 GHz inside a 0.5 T magnetic field.

Anh Chu et al.

Status: open (until 23 Jun 2021)

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  • RC1: 'Comment on mr-2021-42', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 May 2021 reply

Anh Chu et al.

Anh Chu et al.

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Short summary
Novel electron spin resonance (ESR) detectors based on voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) have been gaining attention, mainly due to the possibility of integrating the whole ESR spectrometer onto a single printed circuit board at relatively low cost, while maintaining a performance comparable to commercial solutions. We present an experimental setup where the signal is detected as a change in VCO oscillation amplitude, along with in-depth theoretical analysis of the novel readout scheme.