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Chin. Phys. B, 2019, Vol. 28(4): 040702    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/28/4/040702
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Observing the steady-state visual evoked potentials with a compact quad-channel spin exchange relaxation-free magnetometer

Peng-Cheng Du(杜鹏程)1,3, Jian-Jun Li(李建军)1,3, Si-Jia Yang(杨思嘉)2,4,6, Xu-Tong Wang(王旭桐)1, Yan Zhuo(卓彦)2,4,6, Fan Wang(王帆)2,4,5,6, Ru-Quan Wang(王如泉)1,3
1 Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China;
2 State Key Laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Science, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences(CAS), Beijing 100101, China;
3 School of Physical Sciences, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
4 CAS Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology, Beijing 100101, China;
5 Sino-Danish College, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China;
6 University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

We observed the steady-state visually evoked potential (SSVEP) from a healthy subject using a compact quad-channel potassium spin exchange relaxation-free (SERF) optically pumped magnetometer (OPM). To this end, 30 s of data were collected, and SSVEP-related magnetic responses with signal intensity ranging from 150 fT to 300 fT were observed for all four channels. The corresponding signal to noise ratio (SNR) was in the range of 3.5-5.5. We then used different channels to operate the sensor as a gradiometer. In the specific case of detecting SSVEP, we noticed that the short channel separation distance led to a strongly diminished gradiometer signal. Although not optimal for the case of SSVEP detection, this set-up can prove to be highly useful for other magnetoencephalography (MEG) paradigms that require good noise cancellation. Considering its compactness, low cost, and good performance, the K-SERF sensor has great potential for biomagnetic field measurements and brain-computer interfaces (BCI).

Keywords:  optically pumped magnetometers      steady-state visually evoked potentials      magnetoencephalography  
Received:  11 January 2019      Revised:  23 February 2019      Accepted manuscript online: 
PACS:  07.07.Df (Sensors (chemical, optical, electrical, movement, gas, etc.); remote sensing)  
  87.85.Ox (Biomedical instrumentation and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS))  
  07.55.Ge (Magnetometers for magnetic field measurements)  
  87.19.le (EEG and MEG)  

Project supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant Nos. 2016YFA0300600 and 2016YFA0301500), the Strategic Priority Research Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (Grant Nos. XDB07030000 and XDBS32000000), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11474347 and 31730039), and the Fund from the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (Grant No. 2015CB351701).

Corresponding Authors:  Fan Wang, Ru-Quan Wang     E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

Peng-Cheng Du(杜鹏程), Jian-Jun Li(李建军), Si-Jia Yang(杨思嘉), Xu-Tong Wang(王旭桐), Yan Zhuo(卓彦), Fan Wang(王帆), Ru-Quan Wang(王如泉) Observing the steady-state visual evoked potentials with a compact quad-channel spin exchange relaxation-free magnetometer 2019 Chin. Phys. B 28 040702

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