University of Basel

Welcome to the quantum sensing lab

Our laboratory is located in the Department of Physics of the University of Basel in Switzerland. Our research is centered around the emerging field of "Quantum sensing", where the use of individual, well-controlled quantum systems as high-performance sensing devices is being explored. We concentrate on implementing various types of such sensors and on applying them to outstanding scientific tasks in mesoscopic physics, nano-science and technology. At the moment, our quantum system of choice for these purposes is the Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) color center in diamond, whose exceptional quantum-coherent properties allow for high-performance sensing applications (such as single-electron spin detection) even at room temperature. To learn more about our research and the details underlying the various NV-based quantum sensory applications we pursue, visit our research page.


Please see our job-openings for details.

Latest news from the lab

2016/11/04: New paper on the ArXiv

Jean's and Arne's paper Hybrid continuous dynamical decoupling: a photon-phonon doubly dressed spin studies parametric interaction between a single Nitrogen-Vacancy electronic spin and a diamond mechanical resonator. It presents a novel dynamical decoupling scheme, which is based on recently established techniques for dynamical decoupling by concatenated continuous driving. Our work benefits from a robust, drift-free strain-coupling mechanism we have established in the past and from the narrow linewidth of the high-quality diamond mechanical oscillator we employ. We demonstrate prolongation of the relevant spin dephasing times by up to two orders of magnitude, suggesting feasible applications of our decoupling scheme in quantum information processing and sensing.

2016/11/01: New PhD Student

Welcome to Natascha Hedrich. Natascha will work on the room temperature NV magnetometry project.

2016/10/12: We won the Nano Image Award

Mara and Dominik won the SNI Nano Image Award with their contribution of a winter landscape made out of diamond.

2016/09/01: We welcome two new PostDocs

James Wood joins us from the Hollenberg group in Melbourne. James will work on NV magnetometry projects. Mark Kasperczyk comes from the Novotny group at ETH Zurich and will reinforce the optomechanics sub-group.

2016/07/01: Goodbye to our PostDocs Jean Teissier and Marc Ganzhorn

After a great and successful time we say goodbye to two of our PostDocs and wish the good luck in the future - thank you Jean Teissier and Marc Ganzhorn.

2016/06/07: Fabriaction paper published in Review of Scientific Instruments ArXiv

Patrick's, Marc's and Elke's paper entitled Fabrication of all diamond scanning probes for nanoscale magnetometry presents an optimized procedure to fabricate single-crystal, all-diamond scanning probes with efficient light extraction and high magnetic field sensitvity starting from commercially available diamond and show a highly efficient and robust approach for integrating these devices in a generic atomic force microscope.

2016/05/02: Lucas' paper published in Nature Nanotechnology

Our paper entitled Quantitative nanoscale vortex imaging using a cryogenic quantum magnetometer was published in Nature Nanotechnology. The paper demonstrates for the first time operation of an NV-based scanning probe magnetometer operating under cryogenic conditions. We combined nanoscale spatial resolution and quantitative, non invasive magnetic imaging to map the stray magnetic fields of individual Pearl vortices in superconducting thin films with high sensitivity and spatial resolution.

2016/02/11: Paper on growth of diamond nanoislands containing single SiV appeared in APL

The paper Site selective growth of heteroepitaxial diamond nanoislands containing single SiV centers demonstrates the controlled preparation of heteroepitaxial diamond nano- and microstructures containing single SiV color centers with narrow zero phonon lines down to 1 nm at room temperature.

Click here for more news

2015/11/03: Paper on nanoscale microwave imaging with scanning NV magnetometry published in New Journal of Physics

Patrick's and Marc's paper entitled Nanoscale microwave imaging with a single electron spin in diamond was published in the Journal New Journal of Physics. We report on imaging of microwave magnetic fields using a nitrogen vacancy center in diamond. We quantitatively image the magnetic field generated by high frequency (GHz) MW current with nanoscale resolution and demonstrate a MW magnetic field sensitivity in the range of a few nT/√Hz, polarization selection and broadband capabilities under ambient conditions.

2015/08/03: Arne's and Jean's paper published in Nature Physics

Our paper entitled Strong mechanical driving of a single electron spin was published in Nature Physics. In this work, we show how a hybrid quantum system consisting of a single spin embedded in a mechanical oscillator can be used to strongly and coherently drive the spin. Excitingly, we could show that our novel spin driving-mechanism can be employed to protect the spin from environmental noise and thereby increase it's coherence time. Furthermore, our system allows us to study a single spin in the sought-after "strong driving" regime and thereby shed new light on this exciting, but still under-explored area of quantum physics.

2015/03/02: Joint paper with Novotny-Group (ETH) on ArXiv

The paper Stokes-anti-Stokes Correlations in Raman Scattering from Diamond Membranes investigates the arrival statistics of Stokes and anti-Stokes Raman photons generated in diamond membranes and shows strong quantum correlation between them.

2014/03/01: Dominik Rohner rejoins the quantum sensing Group

Dominik will work as a Ph.D. student on the low-temperature magnetometry experiment.

2015/02/01: Mara Batzer joins the quantum sensing Group

Mara will work as a Ph.D. student on a joint project with FHNW on surface functionalization of diamond to improve the quality of near surface NVs.

2015/01/31: Goodbye to Elke Neu

We thank Elke Neu for a great and successful time and wish her good luck for her new adventure at the University of Saarland.

2014/11/01: New postdoc

Brendan Shields joins the quantum sensing Group. Brendan will work on nanoscale NV magnetometry.

2014/12/30: Daniel's paper on the creation of an optical antenna published in Physical Review Applied

Daniel's paper with the title Low-Loss Broadband Antenna for Efficient Photon Collection from a Coherent Spin in Diamond is published in Physical Review Applied and freely available. It reports on the creation of a low-loss, broadband optical antenna giving highly directed output from a single NV center.

2014/09/18: Paper on decoherence imaging of spin ensembles on ArXiv

The paper Decoherence imaging of spin ensembles using a scanning single-electron spin in diamond demonstrates great capability for nanoscale magnetic sensing of randomly fluctuating magnetic fields using changes in decoherence of the detector spin.

2014/09/04: Patrick involved in a theoretical work on a dramatical increase of NV magnetic sensitivity

The paper High-efficiency resonant amplification of weak magnetic fields for single spin magnetometry demonstrates theoretically that by placing a ferromagnetic particle between a nitrogen-vacancy (NV) magnetometer and a target spin, the magnetometer is increased dramatically by taking advantage of the ferromagnetic resonance.

2014/07/10: Paper on a strain-coupled hybrid spin-oscillator system published in PRL

Jean's paper entitled Strain Coupling of a Nitrogen-Vacancy Center Spin to a Diamond Mechanical Oscillator has been published in Physical Review Letters. The paper reports on coupling of a single NV-center to the motion of mechanical resonators by a novel mechanism based on crystal strain. It determines the strain coupling constants of the NV-center and demonstrates the resolved sideband regime. This regime will allow efficient optomechanical cooperativity of the hybrid-system.

2014/05/22: Book chapter on diamond magnetic sensors published

Vincent's and Patrick's chapter on diamond magnetic sensors is part of the book Quantum Information Processing with Diamonds. The book was published by Elsevier and is now available on the market.

2014/05/06: Review paper on NV magnetometry published

Our review paper on Magnetometry with nitrogen-vacancy defects in diamond was published in Reports on Progess in Physics. This manuscript gives an extensiv review of recent progress in high-sensitivity nanoscale NV magnetometry, generates an overview of the most pertinent results of the last years and highlights perspectives for future developments.

2014/04/16: Elke's paper on (111) oriented diamond published in APL

Elke, Patrick and Marc's paper on photonic nano-structures on (111) oriented diamond was published in Applied Physics Letter.

2014/03/24: Paper on (111) orientated diamond posted

Elke's paper on Photonic nano-structures on (111) oriented diamond has been posted. We demonstrate fabrication of single-crystalline diamond nanopillars on a (111)-oriented diamond and find one of the highest reported saturated fluorescence count rates in single crystalline diamond.

2014/02/01: Lucas Thiel rejoins the quantum sensing Group

Lucas will work as a Ph.D. student on the low-temperature magnetometry experiment.

2014/01/27: Paper on NV-MRI gets published in Nature Nanotechnology

M. S. Grinolds' paper on Subnanometre resolution in three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging of individual dark spins will be published in Nature Nanotechnology.

2013/10/01: Arne Barfuss joins the quantum sensing Group

Arne will work as a Ph.D. student on our spin optomechanics experiment.

2013/07/01: Marc Ganzhorn joins the quantum sensing Group

Marc will work as a postdoc on our cryogenic, scanning NV magnetometry experiment.

2013/05/01: Finally: Our Lab-renovations are completed.

Stay tuned for some pictures from our brand-new labs.

2013/02/11: Jean Teissier joins the quantum sensing Group

Jean will work as a postdoc on our spin-optomechanics experiments.

2013/02/03: Paper on magnetic imaging of a single electron spin accepted for publication in Nature Physics

For details see our publications list and the September 2 news-entry.

2012/12/12: We are movie stars

The official QSIT movie has just been published. Check it out:

2012/11/01: The Quantum-Sensing Group doubles in size again

We welcome Patrick Appel and Elke Neu, a new Ph.D. student and postdoc in the Quantum-Sensing Group.

2012/09/02: Paper on magnetic imaging of a single electron spin posted

We have finally posted our paper on Nanoscale magnetic imaging of a single electron spin under ambient conditions. This work demonstrates the power and potential of NV magnetic imaging: Electronic spins are at the heart of the vast majority of all magnetic phenomena; the capability of sensing the magnetic field from a single electron is thus an important milestone and an indispensable ingredient to our future experiments. Note that no other technique allows for quantitative magnetic imaging of single spins, let alone operation at room temperature and minimal invasiveness.

2012/07/16: Paper on mechanical spin control accepted in Nano Letters

Our paper on mechanical spin control of a single NV center is accepted in Nano Letters. This work was accomplished with the Harvard "NVAFM-team". In this work we showed how to synchronize a mechanical oscillator with spin-manipulation protocols of single NV centers and how these techniques can be used for magnetometry and spin-manipulation applications. The schemes described in this paper will form an important ingredient to our experiments on spin-optomechanics.

2012/06/05: The Quantum-Sensing Group doubles in size

We welcome Lucas Thiel as a new Master Project student in the Quantum-Sensing Group.

2012/03/22: Affiliation with NCCR-QSIT

As of now, our group is an official member of NCCR-QSIT - Quantum Systems for Information Technology. QSIT is a national competence center in research focussed on exploring and promoting quantum technologies. We are excited to partake in this highly stimulating programme and look forward to fruitful collaborations within QSIT.

2012/03/20: Paper on diamond scanning probes accepted in Nature Nanotechnology

Our paper on scanning single NV microscopy using all-diamond scanning probes is accepted in Nature Nanotechnology. This work was accomplished with the Harvard "NVAFM-team" and forms a significant advance in scanning NV magnetometry and other single-NV based sensing schemes. The techniques described in this paper will also form the basis for some of the experiments we will pursue in Basel.

2012/02/01: The Quantum-Sensing Group starts its activities

February 1st, Prof. Patrick Maletinsky officially joined Basel's Physics Department to establish his "Quantum-Sensing" research group.