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Nano Lett. 2012 Jul 11;12(7):3477-82. doi: 10.1021/nl300964g. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

Nitrogen-vacancy-assisted magnetometry of paramagnetic centers in an individual diamond nanocrystal.

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Department of Physics, City College of New York - CUNY, New York, New York 10031, United States.


Semiconductor nanoparticles host a number of paramagnetic point defects and impurities, many of them adjacent to the surface, whose response to external stimuli could help probe the complex dynamics of the particle and its local, nanoscale environment. Here, we use optically detected magnetic resonance in a nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center within an individual diamond nanocrystal to investigate the composition and spin dynamics of the particle-hosted spin bath. For the present sample, a ∼45 nm diamond crystal, NV-assisted dark-spin spectroscopy reveals the presence of nitrogen donors and a second, yet-unidentified class of paramagnetic centers. Both groups share a common spin lifetime considerably shorter than that observed for the NV spin, suggesting some form of spatial clustering, possibly on the nanoparticle surface. Using double spin resonance and dynamical decoupling, we also demonstrate control of the combined NV center-spin bath dynamics and attain NV coherence lifetimes comparable to those reported for bulk, Type Ib samples. Extensions based on the experiments presented herein hold promise for applications in nanoscale magnetic sensing, biomedical labeling, and imaging.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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