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Phys Rev Lett. 2015 Apr 3;114(13):136402. Epub 2015 Mar 31.

Efficient readout of a single spin state in diamond via spin-to-charge conversion.

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Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


Efficient readout of individual electronic spins associated with atomlike impurities in the solid state is essential for applications in quantum information processing and quantum metrology. We demonstrate a new method for efficient spin readout of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond. The method is based on conversion of the electronic spin state of the NV to a charge-state distribution, followed by single-shot readout of the charge state. Conversion is achieved through a spin-dependent photoionization process in diamond at room temperature. Using NVs in nanofabricated diamond beams, we demonstrate that the resulting spin readout noise is within a factor of 3 of the spin projection noise level. Applications of this technique for nanoscale magnetic sensing are discussed.

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