12. Decoherence imaging of spin ensembles using a scanning single-electron spin in diamond

Lan Luan, Michael S Grinolds, Sungkun Hong, Patrick Maletinsky, Ronald L Walsworth, Amir Yacoby

Scientific Reports, 5, 8119 (2015)

The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) defect center in diamond has demonstrated great capability for nanoscale magnetic sensing and imaging for both static and periodically modulated target fields. However, it remains a challenge to detect and image randomly fluctuating magnetic fields. Recent theoretical and numerical works have outlined detection schemes that exploit changes in decoherence of the detector spin as a sensitive measure for fluctuating fields. Here we experimentally monitor the decoherence of a scanning NV center in order to image the fluctuating magnetic fields from paramagnetic impurities on an underlying diamond surface. We detect a signal corresponding to roughly 800 μB in 2 s of integration time, without any control on the target spins, and obtain magnetic-field spectral information using dynamical decoupling techniques. The extracted spatial and temporal properties of the surface paramagnetic impurities provide insight to prolonging the coherence of near-surface qubits for quantum information and metrology applications.