(19)
(11)EP 3 678 066 A1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT APPLICATION

(43)Date of publication:
08.07.2020 Bulletin 2020/28

(21)Application number: 19150076.8

(22)Date of filing:  02.01.2019
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G06N 10/00(2019.01)
G01R 33/3815(2006.01)
(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR
Designated Extension States:
BA ME
Designated Validation States:
KH MA MD TN

(71)Applicant: Siemens Healthcare GmbH
91052 Erlangen (DE)

(72)Inventor:
  • Popescu, Stefan
    91056 Erlangen (DE)

  


(54)MR-SCANNER WITH EMBEDDED QUANTUM COMPUTER


(57) The present invention relates to an MR-scanner (100). The MR-scanner (100) comprises a superconducting magnet (24, 25), a superconducting quantum processor (10a), a first cooling system (1, 2, 3) surrounding the superconducting magnet (24, 25) and a second cooling system (27) surrounding the superconducting quantum processor. The second cooling system (27) is embedded in the first cooling system (1, 2, 3). Further an MR-system is described.




Description


[0001] The present invention relates to an MR-scanner with an embedded quantum computer. The present invention furthermore relates to an MRI-system.

[0002] Quantum computers are quantum mechanical systems using phenomena of superposition and entanglement of quantum mechanical states. Such computers are fundamentally different from binary digital computers using transistors. Whereas common digital computing requires that the data be encoded into binary digits, each of which is always in one of two definite states, i.e. zero or one, quantum computation uses quantum bits or qubits, which can be in superpositions of states.

[0003] Quantum computers can be used for solving computing-challenging problems that relate to performing linear algebra on multidimensional arrays, which arise for example in the field of image reconstruction and image processing in medical imaging, including MRI (MRI = magnet resonance imaging), CT (CT = computer tomography) etc..

[0004] In recent times performance of quantum computers seems to reach the 50-qubit benchmark. The 50-qubit benchmark is significant because around that point quantum machines become capable of performing calculations that could be difficult, if not impossible, to run on even the most enormous supercomputer available.

[0005] This technological progress opens a window of opportunity for the medical imaging business. A quantum computer could be used as a super-computer for every medical scanner in a hospital to run performant image reconstruction, image correction and image analysis algorithms without a need to move a huge amount of data into the cloud and thereby avoiding the data security related issue.

[0006] The most advanced quantum computers comprise superconducting processors. A superconducting quantum processor includes a number of superconducting qubits and associated local bias devices. Such a superconducting quantum processor requires an expensive refrigeration system for cooling the superconducting materials in the system generally realized in facilities that can accommodate the size, expense, complexity and high maintenance demands.

[0007] A superconducting quantum processor of prior art requires an expensive refrigeration system for cooling the superconducting materials in the system including a cascaded cooling system consisting of a pulse tube cryo-coolers, a cryogenic cycle refrigerator and a dilution refrigerator. The coolant used for these refrigerators typically includes at least one of liquid He, He4 or He3. With this refrigerator system the operating temperatures of the quantum processor and of its connecting infrastructure is reduced over cascaded cooling stages successively from room temperature down to e.g. 70K, then down to 4K, to 0.5K, until finally reaching 0.05K.

[0008] A medical imaging scanner, in particular an MR-scanner (MR-scanner = magnet resonance scanner) using a superconducting magnet, needs a cryogenic cooling system as well. This cooling system uses liquid He as a coolant and a cold head as a cryogenic cooling engine to reduce the operating temperature of the superconducting coils from room temperature down to 4K.

[0009] Due to that immense expenditure there is a still unmet need to make quantum computers available at affordable prices at hospitals or with a medical scanner, in particular with an MR-scanner installation.

[0010] This object is met by the MR-scanner according to claim 1 and the MR-system according to claim 16.

[0011] The MR-scanner according to the invention comprises a superconducting magnet, a superconducting quantum processor and a multi-stage refrigeration system. The multi-stage refrigeration system includes a first cooling system surrounding the superconducting magnet and a second cooling system surrounding the superconducting quantum processor, wherein the second cooling system is embedded in the first cooling system. The most important underlying idea of the invention is the combination of the cooling system of a superconducting quantum computer and a superconducting magnet. An MR-scanner uses a superconducting magnet, which needs a cryogenic cooling system as well. As in prior art, this cooling method similarly depends on reliable supply of liquid Helium as a coolant and on a cold head as the cryogenic cooling engine used to reduce the operating temperature of the superconducting coils from room temperature down to 4K. By the combination of the superconducting quantum computer and a superconducting magnet the superconducting quantum processor benefits from the robust cooling infrastructure of the MR-scanner including a vacuum insulated Helium vessel, a cold head based cryo-cooler, closed-circuit Helium-gas recycler with external refrigerator, service interface and qualified service staff. On the other hand the MR-scanner benefits from the huge computing power available with the embedded superconducting quantum processor.

[0012] Using the cooling system for the superconducting magnet and for the superconducting quantum processor together simplifies the structure of the MR-scanner, which leads to a better performance, efficiency and lower cost of the MR-scanner.

[0013] The MR-system according to the invention comprises a control unit and an MR-scanner according to the invention. The MR-system shares the advantages of the MR-scanner according to the invention.

[0014] Particularly advantageous embodiments and features of the invention are given by the dependent claims, as revealed in the following description. Features of different claim categories may be combined as appropriate to give further embodiments not described herein.

[0015] According to a preferred embodiment of the MR-scanner according to the invention the superconducting quantum processor is positioned within a region inside the coils of the superconducting magnet such that the static magnetic field at the position of the superconducting quantum processor is comparatively low. This means that the value of the static magnetic field is at least lower than an average value of the magnetic field in-between the superconducting coils. It is particularly preferred that the static magnetic field at the position of the superconducting quantum processor is reduced to a minimum value. Reducing the magnetic field in the region of the superconducting quantum processor helps to reduce the perturbation of the superconducting quantum processor by the magnetic field, which leads to a better performance and a higher reliability of the superconducting quantum processor.

[0016] Further, it is preferred that the superconducting magnet comprises main field coils and shield coils and the superconducting quantum processor is positioned in a region inside the superconducting magnet coils in-between the main field coils and the shield coils such that the local magnetic field at the position of the superconducting quantum processor is reduced by a cancelling effect excited by the different coils. The reduction of the magnetic field by the cancelling effect in the region of the superconducting quantum processor helps to reduce the perturbation of the superconducting quantum processor by the magnetic field, which leads to a better performance and a higher reliability of the superconducting quantum processor.

[0017] Preferably, the first cooling system comprises two cooling stages and the second cooling system comprises two additional cooling stages. Using a higher number of cooling stages enables a lower temperature to be reached in a shorter time, wherein the previous cooling stages pre-cool the system to a higher temperature with a high cooling performance and the successive cooling stages pre-cool the system from the higher temperature to a very low temperature with a comparatively low cooling performance.

[0018] It is further preferred that the first cooling system comprises a first liquid Helium based cooling stage and a second liquid Helium based cooling stage. Whereas the first cooling stage has a high cooling performance and reduces the temperature to 70K, the second cooling stage has a relatively low cooling performance compared to the 70K cooling stage and reduces the temperature from 70K to 4K. These two cooling stages can be used as well as for cooling the superconducting magnet, which needs a temperature of about 4K, and for cooling the superconducting quantum processor, which has to be cooled by two additional cooling stages to 0.05K.

[0019] Further, the MR-scanner according to the invention may comprise thermal radiation shields, which are designed for thermally insulating the first cooling system and the second cooling system. The thermal radiation shields reduce the heat input caused by thermal radiation.

[0020] Additionally, the MR-scanner according to the invention may further comprise a superconducting magnetic shield. The superconducting magnetic shield may also be designed as an enclosure surrounding the superconducting quantum processor. Such a magnetic shield may comprise a superconducting cylinder that is closed at one end. In this case, the superconducting cylinder suppresses the static magnetic field under a critical temperature based on the Meissner effect. The reduction of the magnetic field by the Meissner effect in the region of the superconducting quantum processor helps to reduce the perturbation of the superconducting quantum processor by the magnetic field, which leads to a better performance and a higher reliability of the superconducting quantum processor. The mentioned thermal radiation shields may also be designed as superconducting magnetic shields. The combination of these different functions may be accomplished by using materials, which superconduct at the end temperature of a cooling stage, which is insulated by the respective thermal radiation shield.

[0021] Furthermore, the MR-scanner according to the invention may comprise an active magnetic shield around the superconducting quantum processor. An active magnetic shield uses a superconducting coil that generates a magnetic field to cancel the main magnetic field. The reduction of the magnetic field by an additional superconducting coil in the region of the superconducting quantum processor helps to reduce the perturbation of the superconducting quantum processor by the magnetic field, which leads to a better performance and a higher reliability of the superconducting quantum processor.

[0022] The superconducting magnetic shield may also comprise a superconducting coil that is connected in series to the superconducting magnet of the MR-scanner. In this case, the current fed through the superconducting coil may be the same permanent current, which has been initially ramped up and circulates through the superconducting coils of the superconducting magnet for the static magnetic field of the MR-scanner.

[0023] Advantageously no additional supply lines or control units are required for the superconducting magnetic shield.

[0024] It is also preferred that at least one of the first cooling system and the second cooling system of the MR-scanner according to the invention comprises a cascaded cooling system, wherein at least two cooling stages of the first cooling system and the second cooling system are thermally connected by a switchable thermal link. A switchable thermal link provides thermal coupling between a previous and a successive cooling stage, while the refrigeration system operates in a first temperature range of the previous cooling stage and provides substantial thermal insulation between the previous and a successive cooling stage, while the refrigeration system operates in a second, lower temperature range of the successive cooling stage. Advantageously the thermal link accelerates the cooling process in the first temperature range and reduces the admission of energy to the successive cooling stage in the second temperature range.

[0025] Such a switchable thermal link may be designed as a passively switchable thermal link or a controllable or actively switchable thermal link. A passively switchable thermal link may be formed from a material that is superconducting below a critical temperature such that the switchable link is thermally conductive above the critical temperature of the material and insulating below the critical temperature. Such superconducting materials are, for example, metals like aluminium, tin, or lead that generally exhibit high thermal conductivity until they are cooled below their critical temperature.

[0026] An actively switchable thermal link may be realized by a controllable thermal switch using a magnetic attractive or repulsive force, which is generated for example by a solenoid, which performs like a thermo-relay that actuates the thermal contact between two thermal terminals. An actively switchable thermal link may also be implemented as a gas-gap heat switch. Compared to a magnetic solenoid, a gas-gap heat switch does not need a control system, since the gas-gap heat switch automatically performs as a thermo-relay at an adjusted switching temperature.

[0027] Additionally, the MR-scanner according to the invention may further comprise a magnet turret for accessing and servicing the superconducting magnet. The magnet turret is designed for additionally accessing and servicing the superconducting quantum processor. Advantageously the magnet turret can be used for the superconducting magnet as well as for the superconducting quantum processor, which simplifies the design of the MR-scanner.

[0028] Preferably, the MR-scanner according to the invention comprises electrical interconnections between various cooling stages. These electrical interconnections comprise a filtering function for removing or at least strongly attenuating the non-differential external electro-magnetic interference components as well as any differential interference located outside an operational signal bandwidth. Advantageously, the electrical noise, which affects the communication and control operations between an external control unit and the internal components, is reduced by the mentioned measurements.

[0029] It is further preferred that the first cooling system of the multi-stage refrigeration system of the MR-scanner according to the invention comprises a cold head for cycling Helium through the first cooling system and the enclosure of the superconducting quantum computer, the electrical interconnections and the cooling stages are mechanically attached to the cold head, such that the whole multi-stage refrigeration-system is removable outside an outer vacuum container surrounding the multi-stage refrigeration system via the service turret. Advantageously, the most important components of the refrigeration system are accessible by short time on purpose and/or for service activities.

[0030] Other objects and features of the present invention will become apparent from the following detailed descriptions considered in conjunction with the accompanying drawings. It is to be understood, however, that the drawings are designed solely for the purposes of illustration and not as a definition of the limits of the invention. They are not necessarily drawn to scale.
FIG 1
shows a schematic view of an MR-scanner with a super-conducting magnet with embedded superconducting quanturn processor and common cooling infrastructure according to an embodiment of the invention,
FIG 2
shows a schematic representation of a multi-stage cooling means for cooling a superconducting magnet and an embedded quantum processor,
FIG 3
shows a schematic view of an enclosure of a superconducting quantum processor performing as a magnetic shield and as a thermal radiation shield, according to an embodiment of the invention,
FIG 4
shows a perspective view of a corrugated bellow used for minimising mechanical vibrations in an MR-system,
FIG 5
shows a perspective view of a flexible hose used for minimising mechanical vibrations in an MR-system.


[0031] FIG 1 shows an example of an MR-scanner 100 comprising an MR superconducting magnet 24, 25 with an embedded superconducting quantum processor 10a and a shared cooling system 120 (marked by dotted lines). The MR-scanner 100 comprises an outer vacuum container 1, which encloses the superconducting magnet 24, 25, the superconducting quantum processor 10a and all the cooling stages of the cooling system 120. The MR-scanner 100 comprises a service turret 16, which is used to access to the interior of the MR-scanner 100. The cooling system 120 of the MR-scanner 100 comprises a first two-stage cooling system 3 with a two-stage cold head 3a, which can be accessed through the opened service turret 16. The first stage 17 of the first two-stage cooling system 3 is a liquid Helium based cooling-stage with a temperature of 70K and the second stage 18 of the first two-stage cooling system 3 is a liquid Helium based cooling-stage with a temperature of 4K. The second stage 18 cools a region 23, which contains the superconducting coils 24 of the superconducting magnet, some outer superconducting shielding coils 25, and which is surrounded by the thermal radiation shield 2. Further, the region 23 contains also a second cooling system 27 comprising a third cryo-cooling stage and a fourth cryo-cooling stage (shown in FIG 2), which are used to attain temperatures of 0.5 K (third stage) and 0.05 K (fourth stage). The fourth cryo-cooling stage contacts a superconducting quantum processor enclosure 10. The superconducting quantum processor enclosure 10 contains the superconducting quantum processor 10a and is symmetrically positioned within the symmetry plane of the superconducting coils 24 of the MR-scanner 100. Further, the MR-scanner 100 also comprises an electrical interface including bundles 11 of electrical cables in the cryogenically cooled region 23, a hermitically sealed feedthrough vacuum connector 14, which seals the interface between the cryogenically cooled region 23 and the outer environment, and an external interconnecting bundle 13 of electrical cables interconnecting electrical cables at room temperature.

[0032] FIG 2 shows a schematic view of a multi-stage refrigeration system 120, which similarly to FIG 1 comprises a service turret 16. In connection with the service turret 16 is a first cooling system 3 with a cold head 3a and with a first cooling stage 17 and a second cooling stage 18. Also connected with the service turret 16 is a bundle 13 of interconnecting electric cables. In connection with the first cooling system 3 is a second cooling system 27 with a third cooling stage 19 and a fourth cooling stage 20. Also, part of the multi-stage refrigeration system 120 are switchable thermal links 12, 12a. These thermal links 12, 12a can be used for a faster pre-cooling of a cooling stage 18, 19, 20 to the temperature of the previous cooling stage 17, 18, 19 and for separating thereafter the cooling stage 18, 19, 20 from the previous cooling stage 17, 18, 19 for further cooling down under the temperature of the previous cooling stage 17, 18, 19. In other words, cooling power of a cooling stage depends on the temperature of that stage, wherein more cooling power is generally available at higher temperatures than at lower temperatures. Therefore, during the first phase of the cooling process, each cooling stage 18, 19, 20 is thermally coupled to the previous cooling stage 17, 18, 19 to accelerate the cooling process. For example, the first cooling stage 17 is used for cooling all cooling stages 17, 18, 19, 20 to a first temperature of the first cooling stage 17, the second cooling stage 18 pre-cools all successive cooling stages 19, 20 to the temperature of the second cooling stage 18 etc.. After pre-cooling each cooling stage 18, 19, 20 to the temperature of the previous cooling stage 17, 18, 19 the cooling stage 18, 19, 20 is thermally separated from the previous cooling stage 17, 18, 19 for further cooling down using its own cooling source, which is for example a Helium cooling system for the second cooling stage 18, an adsorption cooling system for the third cooling stage 19 and a dilution refrigerator for the fourth cooling stage 20. In other words, the multi-stage refrigeration system 120 is designed as a switchable pre-cooling system, wherein downstream cooling stages 18, 19, 20 and additionally thermally linked means like thermal radiation shields 8, 9, the superconducting magnet 24, 25 and the quantum superconducting processor 10a are pre-cooled by previous cooling stages 17, 18, 19. A first switchable thermal link 12a is physically coupled between the first cooling stage 17 and the second cooling stage 18. The first switchable thermal link 12a is switchable between a thermally conductive state and a substantially thermally isolative state. The first switchable thermal link 12a provides thermal coupling between the first cooling stage 17 and the second stage 18 while the refrigeration system 120 operates in a first higher temperature range, for example above a temperature of 70K, and provides thermal insulation between the first stage 17 and the second stage 18 while the refrigeration system 120 operates in a second lower temperature range.

[0033] Such a thermal link 12a can be a passively switchable thermal link or an actively switchable thermal link. A passively switchable thermal link may comprise a material that is superconducting below a critical temperature such that the first switchable thermal link 12a is thermally insulating below the critical temperature Tc and is thermally conductive above the critical temperature Tc. Such superconducting materials are metals like aluminium, tin, lead, etc. that are thermally conductive until they are cooled below their critical temperature Tc. After being cooled below their critical temperature Tc, these metals turn into the electrical superconducting state wherein their thermal conductivity drops to a very low level. Using a superconducting metal as a switchable link between cooling stages also provides the possibility of simultaneously using the switchable link as electrical grounding for the same components.

[0034] Further, such a thermal link 12a may be a controllable or actively switchable thermal link. A controllable thermal link operates based on electrically driven magnetic attractive or repulsive forces, which may be generated by a solenoid. Such solenoid performs like a thermo-relay that actuates the thermal contact between two terminals. A switchable link may also comprise a gas-gap heat switch, which may be used as a suitable switchable thermal link.

[0035] The first cryogenic cooling system 3 comprises a two-stage cold head 3a which serves as a port for filling in and cycling cooling fluids like liquid Helium. For this purpose, the two-stage cold head 3a comprises some refrigerator He-pipes 15. The He-pipes 15 are used for providing the cooling system 3 with Helium and for removing the Helium from the cooling stages. The first cooling system 3 includes a first cooling stage 17, which is cooled by Helium and provides a temperature of 70 K. Between the cold head 3a and the first cooling stage 17 there is an outer vacuum container wall 1, which separates the cooling region inside the MR-scanner 100 from the outer environment. The first cooling system 3 further comprises a second cooling stage 18, which is cooled down by Helium to 4K. Between the first cooling stage 17 and the second cooling stage 18 there is a first cooling interface 4, which separates the 4K zone from the 70K zone. Further, these zones are separated by a thermal radiation shield 2. The first cooling system 3 is further connected to a second cooling system 27 that is provided in an additional container 8. The second cooling system 27 comprises a third cooling stage 19 and a fourth cooling stage 20. The additional container 8 also serves as a second thermal radiation shield. The third cooling stage 19 comprises an adsorption cooler, which cools down to 0.5K. Between the second cooling stage 18 and the third cooling stage 19 there is a second cooling interface 5, also called cold finger. The fourth cooling stage 20 comprises a dilution refrigerator using a composition of 3He/4He and cools down to a temperature of 0.05K. Between the third cooling stage 19 and the fourth cooling stage 20 there is a third cooling interface, which separates the 0.5K zone 19 from a 0.05K zone 20. Between the 0.5K zone 19 and the 0.05K zone 20 there is also a third thermal radiation shield 9, which insulates the colder zone 20 from the warmer zone 19. Further the 0.05K zone defined by the third thermal radiation shield 9 also comprises an enclosure 10 for a superconducting quantum processor 10a. The mentioned enclosure 10 also serves as a thermal radiation shield and a magnetic shield. As mentioned above, the cooling system 120 also comprises a switchable thermal link system 12, 12a with thermal links between the first, the second, the third, the fourth cooling stage and the enclosure 10.

[0036] Furthermore, the cooling system 120 encloses an internal bundle 11 of electric cables for internal electrical interconnections and filters and an outer bundle 13 of electric cables and filters outside the He-cooled zone. The internal bundle 11 and the outer bundle 13 are part of an electrical interface 11, 13, 13', 14 to the quantum superconducting processor 10a. The electrical interface also comprises an input/output system 13' and a vacuum connector 14. The electrical interface is used to provide operational power, to initialise and configure the semiconductor quantum processor 10a, and to retrieve the quantum computational results. The electrical interface connects a conventional computer (not shown) at a room temperature outside the outer vacuum container 1 (shown in FIG 1) via preferably differential signal paths to the quantum superconducting processor cores 10a located within the evacuated and refrigerated enclosure 10 inside the outer vacuum container 1. The vacuum connector 14 provides an interface between the electronics outside the outer vacuum container 1, which is conducted at room temperature, and the portion of input/output system 13' that is located inside the evacuated vacuum container 1. The vacuum connector box 14 provides a hermetically sealed interface between the refrigerated internal zone inside the vacuum container 1 and the non-refrigerated outer environment, providing electrically conductive signal paths between outer and inner electronics.

[0037] The internal electrical interconnections 11 between various cooling stages also provide an electro-magnetic interference (abbreviated as EMI) filtering function to remove or at least to strongly attenuate the non-differential external EMI components. Further also any differential interference located outside the operational signal bandwidth, like for example spectral components in the microwave range, are removed or at least strongly attenuated by the mentioned function. The filter may be designed as single-ended or differential tubular filters. Such filters and interconnecting structures 11 are known from patent application US 2008/ 0 176 751 and US 2010/ 0 157 552.

[0038] The main body of the filter structure 11 may be formed by a predominately non-superconducting material such as copper or brass that provide very low thermal conductivity at low temperatures and improve the thermalization of the whole system.

[0039] FIG 3 shows a schematic view 30 of an enclosure 10 containing a superconducting quantum processor. The enclosure 10 performs as a magnetic shield and a thermal radiation shield. For minimising the magnetic fields the enclosure is located within a spatial region where the intensity of the static magnetic field is low. Furthermore, the enclosure 10 behaves as a superconducting magnetic shield by using the Meissner-Ochsenfeld effect. To realize the Meissner-Ochsenfeld effect, the enclosure 10 is made superconducting and closed at one end. As further shown in FIG 3, the enclosure 10 is surrounded by a superconducting coil 31, which generates a magnetic field to cancel the main magnetic field generated by the superconducting magnet of the MR-scanner. The permanent current I0 (I0+ refers to the current flowing into the coil, I0- refers to the current flowing out of the coil, the plotted arrows show the direction of the current) fed through the coil 31 is preferably the same permanent current that has been initially ramped up and circulates throughout the superconducting coils of the superconducting magnet of the MR scanner. It means that the superconducting magnet coils 24, 31 are connected in series. The enclosure 10 also behaves like a thermal radiation shield. Further, the whole refrigeration system 120 (shown in FIG 2 or FIG 1) includes multiple radiation shields 8, 9, 2 that are used to help to prevent blackbody radiation that is emitted by warmer bodies from being absorbed by colder bodies within the refrigeration system 120.

[0040] In FIG 4, a perspective view of a corrugated bellow 41 and in FIG 5 a perspective view of a flexible hose 42 are depicted. During MR imaging the pulsing gradient fields induce eddy currents into conducting parts and thereby mechanical vibrations. To deal with these perturbations it would be possible to perform the quantum computations only in the time intervals in-between the MRI scans. The mechanical connection interfaces between the various components depicted in detail by FIG 2 could be mechanically realized by corrugated bellows 41 or flexible hoses 42 that would dampen the mechanical vibrations. FIG 4 and FIG 5 depict exemplary mechanical means that are used to realise at least the thermal radiation shields 8, 9, 10 respectively to mechanically enclose and to thermally attach to each other the adsorption cooler, the dilution refrigerator and the superconducting quantum processor enclosure 10.

[0041] Although the present invention has been disclosed in the form of preferred embodiments and variations thereon, it will be understood that numerous additional modifications and variations could be made thereto without departing from the scope of the invention. For the sake of clarity, it is to be understood that the use of 'a' or 'an' throughout this application does not exclude a plurality, and 'comprising' does not exclude other steps or elements.


Claims

1. MR-scanner (100) comprising

- a superconducting magnet (24, 25),

- a superconducting quantum processor (10a),

- a multi-stage refrigeration system (120), including

- a first cooling system (1, 2, 3) surrounding the superconducting magnet,

- a second cooling system (10, 27) surrounding the superconducting quantum processor (10a), wherein the second cooling system (10, 27) is embedded in the first cooling system (2, 3).


 
2. MR-scanner according to claim 1, wherein the superconducting quantum processor (10a) is positioned within a region inside the coils of the superconducting magnet (24, 25) such that the magnetic field at the position of the superconducting quantum processor (10a) is comparatively low.
 
3. MR-scanner according to claim 2, wherein the superconducting magnet (24, 25) comprises main field coils (24) and shield coils (25) and the superconducting quantum processor (10b) is positioned in a region inside the superconducting magnet coils (24, 25) in-between the main field coils (24) and the shield coils (25) such that the local magnetic field at the position of the superconducting quantum processor (10a) is reduced by a cancelling effect excited by the different coils (24, 25).
 
4. MR-scanner according to one of the preceding claims, wherein the first cooling system (1, 2, 3) comprises two cooling stages (17, 18) and the second cooling system (27) comprises two additional cooling stages (19, 20).
 
5. MR-scanner according to one of claims 3 or 4, further comprising thermal radiation shields (8, 9, 10), which are designed for thermally insulating the cooling stages (18, 19, 20) of the first cooling system (1, 2, 3) and the second cooling system (27).
 
6. MR-scanner according to one of claims 1 to 5, further comprising a superconducting magnetic shield (8, 9, 10).
 
7. MR-scanner according to one of claims 5 or 6, wherein the thermal radiation shields (8, 9, 10) are additionally designed as a superconducting magnetic shield.
 
8. MR-scanner according to claim 6 or 7, wherein the superconducting magnetic shield is designed as an enclosure (10) surrounding the superconducting quantum processor (10a).
 
9. MR-scanner according to claim 8, further comprising an active magnetic shield (10, 31) as the enclosure (10).
 
10. MR-scanner according to one of claims 6 to 8, wherein the superconducting magnetic shield (10, 31) comprises a Meissner magnetic shield.
 
11. MR-scanner according to claim 9, wherein the superconducting magnetic shield (10) comprises a superconducting coil (31), which is connected in series to the superconducting magnet (24) of the MR-scanner (100).
 
12. MR-scanner according to one of claims 1 to 11, wherein at least one of the first cooling system (3) and the second cooling system (27) comprises a cascaded cooling system, wherein at least two cooling stages (17, 18, 19, 20) of the first cooling system (3) and the second cooling system (27) are thermally connected by a switchable thermal link (12a, 12) .
 
13. MR-scanner according to one of the preceding claims, further comprising a service turret (16) for accessing and servicing the superconducting magnet (24, 25), which service turret (16) is designed for additionally accessing and servicing the superconducting quantum processor (10a).
 
14. MR-scanner according to one of the preceding claims, further comprising electrical interconnections (11) between various cooling stages (17, 18, 19, 20), comprising a filtering function for removing or at least strongly attenuating the non-differential external EMI components as well as any differential interference located outside an operational signal bandwidth.
 
15. MR-scanner according to one of the preceding claims, wherein

- the first cooling system (3) comprises a cold head (3a) for cycling Helium through the first cooling system (3) and

- the enclosure (10) of the superconducting quantum computer (10a), the electrical interconnections and the cooling stages (17, 18, 19, 20) are mechanically attached to the cold head (3a), such that the whole multi-stage refrigeration-system (120) is removable outside an outer vacuum container (1) surrounding the multi-stage refrigeration system (120) via the service turret (16).


 
16. MRI-system, comprising:

- a control unit,

- an MR-scanner (100) according to one of claims 1 to 15.


 




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Cited references

REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

Patent documents cited in the description