Magnetic measurements on micrometer-sized samples under high pressure using designed NV centers

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Science  13 Dec 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6471, pp. 1359-1362
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw4329

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Diamond-based sensors

Material properties can change dramatically under pressure. Typically, to achieve high-pressure conditions, researchers place their samples in diamond anvil cells (DACs). However, monitoring the properties of the sample inside a DAC is tricky (see the Perspective by Hamlin and Zhou). Hsieh et al., Lesik et al., and Yip et al. developed monitoring techniques based on nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond. The NV centers can act as sensors because their energy levels and the associated spectra are sensitive to strain and magnetic fields. This enabled optical readout of a spatially resolved signal.

Science, this issue p. 1349, p. 1359, p. 1355; see also p. 1312


Pressure can be used to tune the interplay among structural, electronic, and magnetic interactions in materials. High pressures are usually applied in the diamond anvil cell, making it difficult to study the magnetic properties of a micrometer-sized sample. We report a method for spatially resolved optical magnetometry based on imaging a layer of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers created at the surface of a diamond anvil. We illustrate the method using two sets of measurements realized at room temperature and low temperature, respectively: the pressure evolution of the magnetization of an iron bead up to 30 gigapascals showing the iron ferromagnetic collapse and the detection of the superconducting transition of magnesium dibromide at 7 gigapascals.

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