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Front-end assembly optimization for high-Tcrf-SQUID based magnetic field imaging systems
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We have investigated the rf-SQUID and its coupling to the tank circuit configurations to achieve an optimal front-end assembly for sensitive and high spatial resolution magnetic imaging systems. The investigation on the YBCO rf-SQUID coupling to the conventional LC tank circuits revealed that the coupling from the back of the SQUID substrate enhances the SQUID signal while facilitating the front-end assembly configuration. The optimal thickness of the substrate material between the SQUID and the tank circuit is 0.4mm for LaAlO3 resulting in an increase of SQUID flux-voltage transfer function signal, Vspp, of 1.5 times, and 0.5 mm for SrTiO3 with an increase of Vspp of 1.62 times compared to that of direct face to face couplings. For the rf-coupling with co-planar resonator, CPR, it has been found that the best configuration, in which a resonator is sandwiched between the SQUID substrate and resonator substrate, provides a Vspp about 3.4 times higher than the worse case where the resonator and the SQUID are coupled back to back. It has also been observed that the noise level does not depend considerably on whether a conventional LC tank circuit or a CPR is used. Though the use of resonator leads to a limitation of the achievable spatial resolution due to its flux-focusing characteristics. This resulted in favouring the use of the conventional tank circuits when considering the desired high spatial resolution. Effect of the YBCO flip-chip magnetic shielding of the SQUIDs in the back coupling with the LC-tank circuit configuration has also been investigated, in order to reduce the SQUID effective area to increase the spatial resolution and also to study the effect of the coupling of various types of the transformers to the SQUIDs. It is revealed that there is no considerable change in the flux-voltage transfer function signal level with respect to the effective shield area, while the lowest working temperature of the SQUIDs was slightly shifted higher by a couple of degrees depending on the shield area.