Physicists Create Ultrasensitive Magnetometer

A team of scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed an ultrasensitive magnetic-field detector that could lead to smaller devices for medical and materials imaging.

Laser light enters a synthetic diamond from a facet at its corner and bounces around inside the diamond until its energy is exhausted; this excites the NVs that can be used to measure magnetic fields. Image credit: H. Clevenson / MIT Lincoln Laboratory.
Synthetic diamonds with nitrogen vacancies (NVs) have long held promise as the basis for efficient, portable magnetometers (magnetic-field detectors).
A diamond chip about 1/20 the size of a thumbnail could contain trillions of the NVs, each capable of performing its own magnetic-field measurement. The problem has been aggregating all those measurement… Read more