Analysis of the tuning and operation of reflection resonator EPR spectrometers

Vladimir Krymov, Gary J. Gerfen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This paper investigates basic characteristics of the electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) signal obtained from spectrometers employing reflection resonators. General equations are presented which reveal the phase and amplitude dependence on instrumental parameters of both components of the continuous wave (CW) EPR signal (absorption and dispersion). New phase vector diagrams derived from these general equations are presented for the analysis of the EPR response. The dependence of the phase and absolute value of the CW EPR signal on the local oscillator (LO) phase and on resonator offset and coupling is presented and analyzed. The EPR spectrometer tuning procedures for both balanced and unbalanced heterodyne receivers are analyzed in detail using the new phase diagrams. Extraneous signals at the RF input of the microwave receiver (resulting from circulator leakage and reflections in the resonator transmission line) have been taken into account and analyzed. It is shown that a final tuning condition that corresponds to an extremum of the receiver output as a function of the resonator frequency is necessary and sufficient for the acquisition of pure absorption signal. This condition is universal: it applies to all spectrometer configurations in all frequency ranges. High Frequency EPR spectrometer (130 GHz) data are used to generate experimental phase diagrams that illustrate the theoretical concepts presented in the paper. Conditions are presented under which the absorption signal can be measured with complete suppression of the dispersion, independent of the mutual frequency offset between the microwave source and the EPR sample resonator. Equations describing the approximate relationship between changes of the resonator properties (Q-factor and frequency) and paramagnetic susceptibility are derived and analyzed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-478
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Electron paramagnetic resonance
  • HF EPR
  • High frequency
  • Microwave
  • Reflection coefficient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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