NV Centers

NV Center Based Nanoscale Magnetometry and Electrometry


The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center is an isolated single-spin system trapped in a diamond. The NV spin state exhibits high quantum coherence, can be fully controlled by microwave radiation and measured by visible light, and its resonance frequency is highly sensitive to magnetic field. The NV center is commonly used for quantum computing and quantum communication applications, but our group mostly utilizes it as a high sensitivity local magnetometer for the exploration of condensed-matter phenomena. It has allowed us to coherently couple single spins, measure the spin chemical potential in a ferromagnet, image the structure of a Skyrmion excitation, observe hydodynamic electron flow, etc.

One example, conventional probes of magnetic field and spin dynamics lacks sufficient sensitivity to probe a single atomic layer. A sensitive probe of magnetic properties is needed. Magnetic resonance studies based on Nitrogen Vacancy centers in diamond may provide a sufficiently sensitive probe of the magnetic properties of monolayer 2D atomic crystals with magnetic order – paving the way for studies of magnetism in the truly 2D atomic limit.

Additionally, the Yacoby group pioneered the use of the NV center as a scanning probe. By etching the diamond into a micropillar with the NV center at its tip, the NV center can be used as a scanning probe magnetometer which combines high magnetic field sensitivity with high spatial resolution. Our NV setups include a custom-made room-temperature scanning NV system, as well as a new cryogenic scanning system which can operate across a wide temperature range.

Check out some of our research below!

NV research demo Scanning NV
Schematic of the setup measuring hydrodynamic current in graphene, based on ensemble NV. A. Yacoby et al A magnon scattering platform. T. Zhou et al
Chunhui Science WTe2 hydrodynamics

Measure spin chemical potential in YIG. C. Du et al

Imaging phonon-mediated hydrodynamic flow in WTe2. U. Vool et al