In March 2019, a new scanner was put into operation at the Institute, whose magnet produces a field of 7 Tesla—which is about 140,000 times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field. It replaces our first-generation 7T scanner, which has provided new insights into the structure and function of the human brain in numerous studies over 12 years of operation. The magnetic field is generated with a superconducting coil made of niobium-titanium alloy that is constantly cooled to a temperature of 4.2 degrees above absolute zero (–269 °C). The magnet is about 2.7 meters long, 2.9 meters wide and weighs (after installation) less than 25 tons. The opening of the patient tunnel has an inner diameter of 60 cm. The magnet is actively shielded, but was nevertheless installed in the existing iron cabin with dimensions of 10 × 5.7 × 5.7 meters and a weight of 362 tons, since dismantling it would be too costly. Overall, the stray magnetic field outside the shielding is reduced so efficiently that the 0.5 millitesla contour line passes entirely within the elliptical section of the building containing the facility.
The scanner has a powerful gradient unit for spatial encoding of the signals that can produce up to 80 millitesla per meter along any spatial axis within 0.4 milliseconds. The resonant frequency is 298 megahertz for experiments with hydrogen nuclei (“protons”). 64 parallel high-frequency channels are available on the receiving side. Up to 16 parallel channels, each with 2 kilowatts of power, are available for transmitting. In addition to hydrogen nuclei, all biologically significant atomic nuclei (e.g. C-13, Na-23, P-31) can be investigated.