8-channel RF head coil of MRI with automatic tuning and matching

Sung Min Sohn, Lance DelaBarre, John Thomas Vaughan, Anand Gopinath

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

14 Scopus citations


The Radio Frequency (RF) coil is an essential part of hardware in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) systems and microstrip transmission line (TEM) RF coils have been widely used for high-field applications to excite and receive the nuclear magnetic resonance signals. These coils are typically terminated by capacitors. On one end two variable capacitors, the matching capacitor (Cm) and tuning capacitor (Ct), and on the other end a fixed value capacitor (Cf) form a capacitively tuned, matched, and foreshortened half-wave resonator. These resonant coil elements have narrow bandwidth due to their high quality factors (Qs). High transmit power efficiency and receive Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) depend on a well-tuned and matched coil element. Conversely, the variable body loading of these coil elements can adversely impact both tuning and matching, and therefore power efficiency and SNR of transmit/receive signals. Loading effects are problematic and a manual tuning is a time-consuming adjustment. It, however, is the only method to avoid loading problems at present. This study demonstrates the automatic frequency tuning and impedance matching technique for the optimal coil efficiency. An 8-channel RF head coil has been successfully built and tested with a fully automatic tuning and matching function at 7tesla (T). It offers real-time fast operation (less than 550ms per channel) and accurate frequency tuning and impedance matching (less than -20dB in the reflected coefficient, S11, at the Larmor frequency) resulting in the high power efficiency (4% ∼ 21% improvement for each channel).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2013 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium Digest, MTT 2013
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
Event2013 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium Digest, MTT 2013 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Jun 2 2013Jun 7 2013

Publication series

NameIEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium Digest
ISSN (Print)0149-645X


Other2013 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium Digest, MTT 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA


  • Automatic tuning and matching circuit
  • Impedance matching network
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • RF coils

Center for Magnetic Resonance Research (CMRR) tags

  • MRE


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