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Room-temperature in situ nuclear spin hyperpolarization from optically pumped nitrogen vacancy centres in diamond

Room-temperature in situ nuclear spin hyperpolarization from optically pumped nitrogen vacancy centres in diamondDirect in situ detection of hyperpolarized NMR signal (blue) transported by spin diffusion from nitrogen vacancy defect (red) in diamond under combined optical (green) and microwave excitation at a field of 0.4 Tesla (4 MHz).

Scientific Achievement
Enhanced (x105) in situ nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) of diamond through optical and microwave pumping of nitrogen vacancy (NV) defects.

Significance and Impact
Enhancement of NMR will increase efficiency of data acquisition; allow miniaturization of instrumentation; characterize heterogeneous materials over multiple length scales; provide a spin platform for quantum information processing (QIP); act as a source of polarization across interfaces to liquids and gases.

Research Details

  • NMR polarization, typically generated by thermal equilibrium in high magnetic field, is hereby produced by combined optical and microwave pumping of nitrogen vacancy defects.
  • For the first time, diamond NMR hyperpolarization, produced under ambient conditions, is directly detected by NMR in situ.
  • 6% nuclear spin polarization corresponds to a 170,000-fold enhancement, equivalent to refrigeration at 4mK.

J.P. King, K. Jeong, C.C. Vassiliou, C.S. Shin, R. H. Page, C.E. Avalos, H.-J. Wang, A. Pines, Nature Commun. 6:8965 (2015) doi: 10.1038/ncomms9965