Voltage-driven, local, and efficient excitation of nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond

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Science Advances  07 Sep 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 9, eaat6574
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat6574


Magnetic sensing technology has found widespread application in a diverse set of industries including transportation, medicine, and resource exploration. These uses often require highly sensitive instruments to measure the extremely small magnetic fields involved, relying on difficult-to-integrate superconducting quantum interference devices and spin-exchange relaxation-free magnetometers. A potential alternative, nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond, has shown great potential as a high-sensitivity and high-resolution magnetic sensor capable of operating in an unshielded, room-temperature environment. Transitioning NV center–based sensors into practical devices, however, is impeded by the need for high-power radio frequency (RF) excitation to manipulate them. We report an advance that combines two different physical phenomena to enable a highly efficient excitation of the NV centers: magnetoelastic drive of ferromagnetic resonance and NV-magnon coupling. Our work demonstrates a new pathway that combine acoustics and magnonics that enables highly energy-efficient and local excitation of NV centers without the need for any external RF excitation and, thus, could lead to completely integrated, on-chip, atomic sensors.

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