The "Loopole" Antenna: A Hybrid Coil Combining Loop and Electric Dipole Properties for Ultra-High-Field MRI

Karthik Lakshmanan, Martijn Cloos, Ryan Brown, Riccardo Lattanzi, Daniel Sodickson, Graham C. Wiggins

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Purpose. To revisit the “loopole,” an unusual coil topology whose unbalanced current distribution captures both loop and electric dipole properties, which can be advantageous in ultra-high-field MRI. Methods. Loopole coils were built by deliberately breaking the capacitor symmetry of traditional loop coils. The corresponding current distribution, transmit efficiency, and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) were evaluated in simulation and experiments in comparison to those of loops and electric dipoles at 7 T (297 MHz). Results. The loopole coil exhibited a hybrid current pattern, comprising features of both loops and electric dipole current patterns. Depending on the orientation relative to B0, the loopole demonstrated significant performance boost in either the transmit efficiency or SNR at the center of a dielectric sample when compared to a traditional loop. Modest improvements were observed when compared to an electric dipole. Conclusion. The loopole can achieve high performance by supporting both divergence-free and curl-free current patterns, which are both significant contributors to the ultimate intrinsic performance at ultra-high field. While electric dipoles exhibit similar hybrid properties, loopoles maintain the engineering advantages of loops, such as geometric decoupling and reduced resonance frequency dependence on sample loading.

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