The Design of Excitation Pulses for Spin Systems Using Optimal Control Theory: With Application to NMR Spectroscopy

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This paper considers the use of optimal control theory in designing radio frequency excitation Pulses for magnetic spin systems satisfying Bloch dynamics. Such pulses are required in applications of nuclear magnetic resonance to initially transfer sample magnetization vectors to the transverse plane. Once transferred, signals released by nuclei as they respond to a static magnetic field normal to the transverse plane are then analyzed and interpreted. Continuous time deterministic optimal control theory is employed to determine time-dependent pulse amplitudes and frequencies that minimize the distance between final magnetization vectors and a chosen target vector. Pulses are designed to excite a range of resonant frequencies and to tolerate miscalibration errors in applied fields. The model presented permits a unified treatment of the control problem as considered by a variety of authors, and a thorough mathematical analysis of the existence, and characteristics of, optimal excitation pulses. Practical numerical algorithms for designing optimal pulses are given, and the effectiveness of the algorithms is illustrated by comparing the pulses that they generate with those commonly used in high-resolution spectroscopy.



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