NV center based magnetometry
Interest in nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond has renewed recently due to a fuller understanding of their unique quantum properties. The electronic state of an NV center forms a spin-1 system, on which general quantum control and information processing procedures can be performed. Due to their weak coupling with its environment, NV spin-states have exceptionally long coherence times; hence, there is great potential to make use of a system which contains the coherence properties of atoms, yet is trapt within the rigid lattice of a diamond crystal. Moreover, NV centers can be addressed optically, and due to their spin-dependent fluorescence, the electronic spin of an NV center can be both readout and initialized with a simple optical setup. Full quantum coherent control is achievable through the application of radio-frequency pulses on the optically initialized state. In our group, our aim to apply these unique properties towards the development of novel instrumentation.
In particular, we have developed an extremely sensitive magnetometer which has the capability to measure the dipole fields of single electron spins at room temperature. This NV magnetometer is implemented in a unique scanning probe microscope which allows for the the spatial examination of minute magnetic fields in a wide variety of systems.