Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a powerful medical diagnostic tool because of its capability for non-invasive three-dimensional (3D) imaging of internal structures. If extended to the nanoscale, high-resolution MRI potentially offers 3D imaging of individual biomolecules. Despite considerable efforts towards improvement of MRI spatial resolution, traditional inductive coil detection cannot achieve sufficient signal below the micron scale. We obtained the first nanoscale nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) detection at room temperature with a nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond. This atomic-size spin sensor detects magnetic fields in the nanotesla range that originate from hydrogen nuclei in organic samples, resulting in a billion-fold enhancement of magnetic sensitivity relative to conventional MRI. This upgraded sensitivity has enabled nanoscale room-temperature MRI, promising potential applications for biological imaging. Further advances in NV-based MRI will realize single-nuclear-spin sensitivity, enabling direct, fluorescent-tag-free examination of biological structures and interactions in their native environments.
"Nanoscale Magnetic Resonance Imaging with an Atomic-Size Sensor in Diamond", Dr. Moonhee Kim, IBM Almaden Research Center
Thursday, 11 December 2014 - 12:30pm