Diffusion magnetic resonance studies of the brain are typically performed using volume coils. Although in human brain this leads to a near optimal filling factor, studies of rodent brain must contend with the fact that only a fraction of the head volume can be ascribed to the brain. The use of surface coil as transceiver increases Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR), reduces radiofrequency power requirements and opens the possibility of parallel transmit schemes, likely to allow efficient acquisition schemes, of critical importance for reducing the long scan times implicated in diffusion tensor imaging. This study demonstrates the implementation of a semiadiabatic echo planar imaging sequence (echo time = 40 ms, four interleaves) at 14.1T using a quadrature surface coil as transceiver. It resulted in artifact free images with excellent SNR throughout the brain. Diffusion tensor derived parameters obtained within the rat brain were in excellent agreement with reported values. Magn Reson Med 65:732-737, 2011. (C) 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.