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Parabolic diamond scanning probes for single spin magnetic field imaging

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posted on 2023-11-30, 19:32 authored by N. Hedrich, D. Rohner, M. Batzer, P. Maletinsky, B. J. Shields
Enhancing the measurement signal from solid state quantum sensors such as the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond is an important problem for sensing and imaging of condensed matter systems. Here we engineer diamond scanning probes with a truncated parabolic profile that optimizes the photonic signal from single embedded NV centers, forming a high-sensitivity probe for nanoscale magnetic field imaging. We develop a scalable fabrication procedure based on dry etching with a flowable oxide mask to reliably produce a controlled tip curvature. The resulting parabolic tip shape yields a median saturation count rate of 2.1 $\pm$ 0.2 MHz, the highest reported for single NVs in scanning probes to date. Furthermore, the structures operate across the full NV photoluminescence spectrum, emitting into a numerical aperture of 0.46 and the end-facet of the truncated tip, located near the focus of the parabola, allows for small NV-sample spacings and nanoscale imaging. We demonstrate the excellent properties of these diamond scanning probes by imaging ferromagnetic stripes with a spatial resolution better than 50 nm. Our results mark a 5-fold improvement in measurement signal over the state-of-the art in scanning-probe based NV sensors.

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