Imaging Quantum Materials with Scanning Quantum magnetometry
In recent years, there has been rapid growth in the ability to isolate and control atomic quantum systems. While they are most famous for their potential use for quantum computation, the atoms’ high coherence and controllability also make them ideal sensors. The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in an isolated quantum spin trapped in a diamond, of atomic size and with extreme (∼ 1 nT) sensitivity to magnetic ﬁeld. This unique sensor allows us to explore and visualize a wide range of effects in quantum materials, such as magnetization structure [1, 2], correlated electron current ﬂow proﬁle , and electromagnetic noise .
To make a robust scanning probe which utilizes the nanscale spatial resolution of the NV probe, the diamond is shaped into a pillar with the NV center at its tip. This tip can be brought into atomic contact with the measured material and scan across it . Furthermore, the NV sensor is unique its ability to operate in a wide temperature range (10 mK − 1000 K). Making use of this ability, however, requires a variable-temperature cryostat for scanning magnetometry . Operating such a setup requires expertise in cryogenics, scanning, optics, microwave, and coherent quantum control, and only very recently such systems have become operational and are starting to show initial results. With these novel experimental capabilities, we are now ready to explore a wide variety of quantum materials and discover new physical effects.
In this PhD project, you will help set up and operate a new variable-temperature cryogenic NV scanning probe and use it to explore and understand quantum materials through their local magnetic signatures. Utilizing the expertise at the MPI-CPfS in creating state-of-the-art quantum materials and devices, this quantum probe will allow us to visualize their internal structure and gain insight into their underlying physics.