Single spin magnetometry with nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond

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Single spin magnetometry with nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond

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Title: Single spin magnetometry with nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond
Author: Chisholm, Nicholas Edward Kennedy
Citation: Chisholm, Nicholas Edward Kennedy. 2015. Single spin magnetometry with nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University, Graduate School of Arts & Sciences.
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Abstract: The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond is a solid-state point defect with an electronic spin that has accessible quantum mechanical properties. At room temperature, the electronic ground state sub-levels of the NV center can be initialized and read out using optical pumping, as well as coherently controlled using microwave frequency fields. This thesis focuses on using the spin state of the NV center for highly-sensitive magnetometry under ambient conditions. In particular, when the diamond surface is properly prepared, we demonstrate that NV centers can be used to measure the magnetic fluctuations stemming from individual molecules and ions attached or adsorbed to the surface.

This thesis begins by introducing the physical and electronic structure of the NV center at room temperature, followed by the fundamental measurements that allow us to use the NV center as a sensitive magnetometer. Combining our sensitive NV center magnetometer with techniques from chemistry and atomic force microscopy (AFM), we demonstrate the all-optical detection of a single-molecule electron spin at room temperature. Finally, we discuss the time-resolved detection of individual electron spins adsorbing onto the surface of nano-diamonds. By extending our techniques to nano-diamonds, we move closer towards \textit{in vitro} magnetic field sensing that could be pivotal for better disease diagnosis and drug development.
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