Frequently used components

The following are frequently used commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) electronic components and materials. These lists are not endorsements of the corresponding products and are provided exclusively for information purposes.

Semiconductor Components


Fast Rectifier Diodes

These types of diodes are used in pairs ("crossed") to implement passive switch circuits such as detuning traps, T/R switches, etc. Some are already packaged in pairs to assist use in the crossed configuration. Schottky diodes consist of a junction between a semiconductor and metal and consequently have a lower turn-on voltage than standard PN diodes.

The main parameters to consider are

  • recovery time (ns): determines maximum frequency of operation of the switch of the switch
  • capacitance (pF): capacitance seen when the switch is OFF
  • forward current (A): maximum current handling of the switch
  • forward voltage (V): turn-on voltage of the switch
  • power dissipation (W)

Consult the corresponding data sheets for accurate information. The following are few examples (of likely hundreds of diodes available) that may be used in MRI applications.

Part Number Configuration Recovery Time (ns) Capacitance (pF) Forward Current (A) Forward Voltage (V) Power Dissipation (W)
BYW29 single with heatsink 25 10 (to heatsink) 8 0.9 ~10
BAW56 double 4 2 0.45 0.9 0.25
BAT54 Schottky 5 10 0.6 0.4 0.2
1N4148, 1N4448 single 4 4 0.2 0.9 0.5

PIN Diodes

PIN diodes use a junction with an undoped (intrinsic) region between the P and N regions. The intrinsic region stores charge and makes the PIN diode an excellent (low-resistance) switch at high frequencies. Carrier lifetime determines the ON resistance of the switch and influences the lowest frequency of operation.

PIN diodes are typically controlled with an external DC bias to act as switches or current-controlled resistors (e.g., in attenuators).

The diodes in the following table are commonly used in MRI applications. Consult the corresponding data sheets for accurate information.

Part Number Carrier Lifetime (µs) Resistance (ohm) Capacitance (pF) Power Dissipation (W) Reverse Voltage (V)
UM9401 2 0.75 1.1 5.5 50
MA4P4000 6 0.5 2.2 12 100

Transistor Cross Reference

Here are some popular transistors used in low-noise preamplifiers and their equivalents from alternate manufacturers.

Manufacturer Part Number Manufacturer Part Number
Broadcom/Avago/Agilent/HP ATF-33143*   Mini-Circuits SAV-331+
Broadcom/Avago/Agilent/HP ATF-54143*   Mini-Circuits SAV-541+
Broadcom/Avago/Agilent/HP ATF-55143*   Mini-Circuits SAV-551+
Broadcom/Avago/Agilent/HP ATF-58143*   Mini-Circuits SAV-581+

* now obsolete according to this notice

Passive Components

Nonmagnetic Inductors

These are some inductors known to have a non-ferromagnetic core and otherwise negligible ferromagnetic materials. Measured self-resonant frequency (SRF) is reported where available. The SRF is important when the inductor is used as an RF choke because at the SRF the series impedance of the inductor is maximal.

It is also common also to use self-wound inductors when the required inductance values are modest (e.g., below 100 nH).


Supplier of numerous air-core and other nonmagnetic inductors. Tunable versions can be ordered with aluminum core instead of ferrite.

1008CS Series

Non-magnetic core.

1008HS Series

Non-magnetic core.

Part number Nominal Inductance (nH) Measured SRF (MHz)
1008HS-102T 1000 360


2890 Series

Non-magnetic (phenolic) core up to 18µH and otherwise no measurable magnetism.


ELJ series

Non-magnetic core and otherwise no measurable magnetism.

Part number Nominal Inductance (nH) Measured SRF (MHz)
ELJNAR22 220 320
ELJNAR27 270 300
ELJNAR47 470 220


IMC-1812 Series

Non-magnetic core up to 0.82µH.

IM-6-RFCS-40 Series

Non-magnetic core up to 2.2µH.

Magnetic susceptibility in capacitors

The following diagram shows a cross section of a typical multilayer ceramic capacitor (MLCC):

Mlcc Structure

Although magnetic susceptibility in MLCCs is commonly associated with the dielectric, the dielectric itself is not actually magnetic. The magnetic properties of MLCCs are determined almost entirely by the materials used for their terminations (the part we solder to) and the electrodes (the interdigitated plates buried inside the dielectric, which form the plates of the capacitor).

NME vs BME electrodes

Up through the 1990s, MLCCs generally used materials like Palladium or Silver for electrodes, and were reffered to as "Noble metal electrodes" (NME). These materials happened to be nonmagnetic as well. Then in the 90s, breakthroughs occurred which allowed cheaper "base" materials like Nickel and copper to be used for electrodes (BME). In practice, BME electrodes are usually entirely Nickel, which is what gives most MLCCs there strong magnetic susceptibility.

Manufacturers prefer to use BME wherever it can be justified. But it turns out that BME electrodes tend to degrade the stability of capacitors compared to NME electrodes. Because of this, BME dominates class 2 dielectrics (X5R, X7T, Y5R, etc) where stability is not such a concern, while NME is still used with most class 1 dielectrics (C0G/NPO). This is why a NPO/C0G capacitor will typically have much less magnetic susceptibility than an X7R cap of the same case size, capacitance, and voltage rating. It's only indirectly related to the dielectric.


Terminations for MLCCs are selected primarily for cost and solderability. Nickel is very commonly used as an intermediate layer in MLCCs between the electrodes and the terminal finish (usually Tin). This is also true for many other surface mount components as well. Unfortunately for MRI engineers, Nickel is very cheap and effective, so it shows up everywhere.

Usually for BME capacitor, the electrodes are responsible for most of the magnetism. But for very small case sizes (0402, 0201, etc), terminations may actually contribute more.

Termination material is generally unrelated to dielectric. Therefore most NPO/C0G capacitors will have Nickel in their terminals, giving them some magnetism. Again, this is most noticeable with very small case sizes.

Some capacitors are available with nickel-free terminations, but these should be chosen with caution. Often they are not suitable for repeated rework, due to solder leeching. Parts with alternative terminations are also more difficult to find in stock from vendors.

Vishay VJ series capacitors

The VJ Commercial Series from Vishay is notable in that it contains class 2 dielectrics built with NME. They're also offered with nonmagnetic terminations, but these are difficult to find in stock. If you really need large capacitor with low susceptibility, these are a good bet.

Tantalum capacitors

In cases where large capacitances are needed for DC supply filtering and decoupling, tantalum capacitors can be a good alternative to MLCCs. The dielectric and electrode materials used in solid tantalum capacitors not ferromagnetic, but the terminations will usually contain a nickel layer. The MICROTAN 298D from Vishay is one series which offers a good tradeoff between magnetism and capacitance. Kemet also advertises tantalum capacitors which are completely nonmagnetic, but these can likely only by ordering directly from the manufacturer.

Nonmagnetic Capacitors

These are some capacitors known to contain negligible ferromagnetic materials. Important parameters to consider include

  • maximum voltage handling (V)
  • equivalent series resistance (ESR, ohm)
  • temperature coefficient of capacitance change (ppm/ºC)
  • capacitance tolerance (F)


SMD Commercial High Voltage C0G

Surface mount, multilayer ceramic chip capacitors with low ESR and high voltage (kV range) rating. Confirmed very small magnetic attraction (C1812C151JHGACTU, 150pF).


ECC and ECK Series

Radial ceramic disk capacitors with leads, high voltage rating. Confirmed nonmagnetic (various part numbers beginning with ECCNVS).


CC45 Series

Radial ceramic disk capacitors with leads, high voltage (kV range) rating. Confirmed very small magnetic attraction (CC45SL3AD821JYNNA, 820pF).

CGA Series

Surface mount, multilayer ceramic chip capacitors with low ESR and high voltage (kV range) rating. Confirmed very small magnetic attraction (CGA8L1C0G3F151K160KA, 150pF).


F Series

Radial ceramic disk capacitors with leads, high voltage (kV range) rating. Confirmed nonmagnetic (F102K43Y5RP6UK5R, 1000pF).


Fuses are used as second fail-safe devices to detune RF coils in case the trap circuits containing Diodes above do not work.

The table below lists some fuses that have been used in RF coils.

Part Number Manufacturer rated current (A) mounting cold resistance (ohm)
0453.250 Littelfuse 0.250 surface 0.58
3413.0112.22 Schurter 0.375 surface 0.36


Bulk Materials

The following lists include materials commonly used in the construction of MRI equipment along with their properties.

Magnetic Susceptibility

Magnetic susceptibility (\chi, in the SI system) is important because of its effects on static magnetic field (B0) homogeneity.

Material Susceptibility (ppm) Density (g/mL)
Fibreglass -3.112 2.082
FR4 PCB board  -3.742 1.952
PZT Piezoceramic   -5.832  
G-10 composite* -6.28 1.88
GFP* -6.53 1.45
FR3 PCB board  -7.671 1.601
PET (Mylar A)   -8.252 1.421
zirconia* -8.80
Polyimide (Kapton)   -8.915 1.42
Polyimide (Aurum)*
Polyetherimide (Ultem)* -8.92 1.27
PMMA, clear   -9.055 1.19
PMMA, white   -9.068 1.195
epoxy-based CRFP   -9.131 1.539
PPS* -9.17 1.35
Polystyrene    -9.173 1.045
Polycarbonate    -9.242 1.1973
Polycarbonate (Macrolon)   -9.248 1.199
PEEK    -9.332 1.3095
POM (Sustarin C)   -9.357 1.412
POM acetal   -9.374 1.417
vinyl ester based CRFP -9.422 1.49
PA6, natural   -9.478 1.1449
Zeonex E48R   -9.537 1.008
Polypropylene    -9.555 0.911
PA, black   -9.564 1.154
PE-HD    -9.667 0.952
FR2 PCB board  -10.112 1.352
PTFE    -10.276 2.176
PVC, grey   -10.705 1.3717
Polychlorotrifluoroethylene (Kel-F)* -11.6 2.10


Most data adapted from Table 1 of http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jmr.2014.02.005 (reference susceptibility of water was taken to be -9.032 ppm).

* from Table 4  https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-0534(1998)10:3<133AID-CMR1>3.0.CO;2-Y. This reference also contains valuable information such as susceptibility of numerous solvents, chemical resistance, water absorption, etc.

Permittivity of 3D Printing Materials

The following data was compiled from several sources. Materials for 3D printing (FDM) vary widely as does the final density of the deposited material. It is recommended that properties be verified experimentally.

Material Frequency / MHz Volume Fraction Relative Permittivity tan \delta
ABS 64*   3.18 0.012
  128*   3.08 0.013
  200° 0.27 1.34 0.008
  300*   3.11 0.014
PLA 64*   3.11 0.013
  128*   2.98 0.013
  200° 0.19 1.24 0.005
  300*   2.95 0.014
Resin 64*   4.11 0.025
  128*   4.12 0.023
  200° 0.46 2.0 0.026
  300*   4.10 0.027


° https://doi.org/10.1007/s00723-018-1108-9

NMR Signal

The presence of NMR signal is important for items in close proximity to the imaging region, such as RF coils, where extraneous signals could lead to radiological misinterpretation of the images. This is especially important for acquisitions using ultra-short or zero echo time sequences because they can capture short-lived signals from solid materials. Converesely, the presence of NMR signal (e.g., RGD525 below) is desirable to create MR-visible solid phantoms.

For materials used in 3D printing we have the following data.

Material B0 / T T2 / ms T2* / ms
ABS 2.9 <<5.2  
PLA 2.9 <<5.2  
RGD525   ~32 7



The following table indicates the presence (+) or absence (-) of signal from four different nuclei for each of the listed polymers or composites. Data were obtained using spectroscopic methods. Note that the two references sometimes reach inconsistent results, and that different versions of the same polymer can also give different results.

Commercial Name Chemical Name Abbreviation 1H signal 19F signal 13C signal 31P signal
  acrylonitrile butadiene styrene ABS + - +  
*Acetron polyoxymethylene POM, acetal +   + -
Acrylic / Plexiglas / Perspex / etc. poly(methyl methacrylate) PMMA - - +  
Delrin polyoxymethylene POM + - +  
Delrin AF polyoxymethylene / polytetrafluoroethylene POM/PTFE + + +  
*Ertalyte polyethylene terepthalate PET, PETE -   - -
Estralon polyethylene terepthalate PET, PETE - - -  
Extren fiberglass composite   - + -  
Extruded Acrylic poly(methyl methacrylate) PMMA - - +  
G-10 fiberglass composite   - + -  
  high-density polyethylene  HDPE - +  
* high-impact polystyrene HIPS, PS +   + -
  high-impact polystyrene HIPS, PS + - +  
*Ketron polyetheretherketone PEEK -   - -
*KYDEX 100 polyvinyl chloride /
polymethyl methacrylate
PVC/PMMA +   + -
*Kynar polyvinylidine fluoride PVDF +   + -
Kynar polyvinylidene fluoride PVDF - + +  
Macor glass-ceramic   - + -  
Noryl polyphenylene ether / polystyrene PPE/PS + - +  
Nylatron GS polyimide / molybdenum disulphide PI/MoS2 + - -  
*Nylon polyamide PA -   - -
Nylon polyamide PA - - -  
Phenolic XX paper / phenolic   + - -  
Polyarylate polyarylate          
Polycarbonate polycarbonate PC - +  
Polyester Impact Resin     - - -  
Polyetheretherketone polyetheretherketone PEEK - + -  
*Polypropylene polypropylene PP +   + -
Polypropylene polypropylene PP - - +  
Polystyrene polystyrene PS - - -  
Polysulfone polysulfone PSU + - +  
*Polyurethane (Bayer) polyurethane PU +   + +
*Polyurethane (Innovative Polymers) polyurethane PU +   - -
Polyurethane 75D polyurethane PU + - +  
Polyvinylchloride polyvinylchloride PVC + - +  
*Royalite R52 acrylic / polyvinyl
PMMA/PVC +   + -
Rulon polytetrafluoroethylene PTFE - + +  
*Techtron polyphenylene sulfide PPS -   - -
*Teflon, Fluorosint polytetrafluoroethylene PTFE -   + -
Teflon polytetrafluoroethylene PTFE - + +  
TPX polymethylpentene PMP - - +  
UHMW Ultra-high-molecular-weight polyethylene UHMWPE + - +  
*Ultem polyetherimide PEI +   - -
Ultem polyetherimide PEI - - -  

https://doi.org/10.1002/mrm.1910130317 (4.7T data)

https://doi.org/10.1002/mrm.21566 (9.4T data)

° For polycarbonate and polyethylene,Table 2 of https://doi.org/10.1002%2Fmrm.22558 gives apparent spin densities of 85% and 2% (relative to water), and T2* of 7.5µs and 40µs, respectively (4.7T data).


Nonmagnetic Coaxial Cables

Many coaxial cables utilize a steel inner conductor (plated with copper or silver), or multiple strands, to increase tensile strength and durability. Luckily, nonmagnetic versions made of copper conductors are made by a few manufacturers and are readily available. Some nonmagnetic coaxial cables are listed in the table below. Check the manufacturer's data sheets for up-to-date information.

Manufacturer RG Designation* Description Dielectric OD (mm) Part Number
  RG-174   1.5 7805 and 7805R
  RG-405/U hand-formable 1.57 1671A
  RG-58A/U foam RG-58 2.4 82907
    triax RG-58 2.9 9222
  RG-58A/U   2.95 8240
  RG-402/U hand-formable 2.95 1673B
  RG-223/U   2.97 9273
  RG-8/U   7.2 8214
  RG-214/U   7.2 8268
    semi-rigid 0.93 EZ47-CU-TP
    semi-rigid 1.68 EZ86-CU-TP/M17
    semi-rigid 2.98 EZ141-CU-TP
    ~RG-178 1.0 G01132-06
    double-braid RG-174 1.5 G02232D
  RG-174   1.5 G02262
    triax RG-174 1.5 G02332
    similar to RG-223 2.95 G03262D
    double-braid RG-174 1.54 K_02252_D-08
    hand-formable 1.65 SUCOFORM 86
  RG-58C/U-04   2.95  
  RG-213/U   7.25  
  RG-223/U   2.96  
Molex (Temp-Flex)        
      0.914 1001935047
      0.92 047SC-2901
      1.65 086SC-2401
Times Microwave        
      2.79 LMR-195
      2.95 LMR-200
      3.81 LMR-240
      4.83 LMR-300
      7.24 LMR-400

* note that RG designations are obsolete and open to manufacturers' interpretations.

Nonmagnetic Connectors

Many connectors contain ferromagnetic parts or platings. For example, BNC connectors must be carefully inspected because they often contain a ferromagnetic spring for the bayonet locking mechanism.

Add cross reference between cable types and compatible nonmagnetic coax connectors.