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Avoiding power broadening in optically detected magnetic resonance of single NV defects for enhanced DC-magnetic field sensitivity

A. Dréau, M. Lesik, L. Rondin, P. Spinicelli, O. Arcizet, J.-F. Roch, V. Jacques, Phys. Rev. B 84, 195204 (2011)

We report a systematic study of the magnetic field sensitivity of a magnetic sensor based on a single Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) defect in diamond, by using continuous optically detected electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy. We first investigate the behavior of the ESR contrast and linewidth as a function of the microwave and optical pumping power. The experimental results are in good agreement with a simplified model of the NV defect spin dynamics, yielding to an optimized sensitivity around 2 \mu T/\sqrt{\rm Hz}. We then demonstrate an enhancement of the magnetic sensitivity by one order of magnitude by using a simple pulsed-ESR scheme. This technique is based on repetitive excitation of the NV defect with a resonant microwave \pi-pulse followed by an optimized read-out laser pulse, allowing to fully eliminate power broadening of the ESR linewidth. The achieved sensitivity is similar to the one obtained by using Ramsey-type sequences, which is the optimal magnetic field sensitivity for the detection of DC magnetic fields.

Phys. Rev. B 84, 195204 (2011)

Open access : arXiv:1108.0178
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.84.195204

The authors acknowledge F. Grosshans, P. Neumann and F. Jelezko for fruitful discussions. This work was supported by the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR) through the project Diamag, by C'Nano Ile-de-France and by the RTRA-Triangle de la physique.
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