PerspectiveCHEMICAL PHYSICS

Observing chemical shifts from nanosamples

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Science  07 Jul 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6346, pp. 38
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan6162

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Summary

Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is a highly versatile spectroscopy method widely used in diverse disciplines, but its sensitivity and spatial resolution are limited by the inductive measurement of magnetic nuclei. Nano-NMR methods are emerging that aim to measure a single nuclear spin—an improvement in sensitivity of 13 orders of magnitude. The main workhorse of these methods has been atomic defects in diamond, which have distinctive optical and magnetic properties. On page 67 of this issue, Aslam et al. (1) demonstrate a modified sensing scheme based on diamond defects that achieves spectral resolutions sufficient for measuring chemical shifts.