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A new decoupling method for phased arrays in magnetic resonance imaging: an experimental approach

A new decoupling method for phased arrays in magnetic resonance imaging: an experimental approach

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A new decoupling method for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) phased arrays is studied by experimental measurements. A laboratory measurement setup is built to characterise the signal coupling paths and their coupling strengths. A new concept, the receiving mutual impedance, is introduced to measure the coupled signals between the phased array elements. Measured values of the receiving mutual impedances for a typical two-element surface-coil array are obtained and used in other experiments to find the uncoupled voltages from the received voltages. Results show that the new decoupling method is both accurate and robust over a wide frequency range. Comparison of the uncoupled voltages with the actual ideal uncoupled voltages confirms that if the position of the signal source is known, almost error-free uncoupled voltages can be obtained. The errors resulted from a change of the position of the signal source are also measured and it is found that they generally increase with the deviation of the signal source from its position where the receiving mutual impedances are measured. The maximum % error of the uncoupled voltages is found to be below 10% when the signal source changes its position over a distance of half the length of a surface coil. Over this distance change, the signal isolation between the two surface coils is found to be at least 20 dB, whereas the maximum is more than 300 dB. The results demonstrate the effectiveness and the feasibility of the new decoupling method for use in MRI phased arrays.

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