Color centers in wide-bandgap semiconductors have emerged as a leading platform in the field of quantum sensing, broadly defined as the use of qubits to measure environmental parameters. In my lab at the University of New Mexico, we are using Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) centers in diamond to image magnetic phenomena in condensed-matter and biological systems over a broad range of length scales. At the nanometer scale, we are building super-resolution magnetic microscopes to image magnetic nanoparticles with 50-100 nm resolution. At the micrometer scale, we embed diamond sensors inside microfluidic chips to perform nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy at the scale of single cells. At the millimeter scale, we use magnetic flux concentrators to detect femtotesla-level magnetic fields, with potential applications in medical imaging, navigation, and even dark matter detection. I will provide an overview of the field, discuss recent results and ongoing challenges, and outline future directions.
Victor Acosta is an Associate Professor in the Dept. of Physics & Astronomy and Center for High Technology Materials at the University of New Mexico. He did his PhD in atomic physics with Dmitry Budker at UC Berkeley, graduating in 2011. From 2011-2015, Victor was a postdoc in quantum photonics with Charles Santori at Hewlett-Packard Labs and then a research scientist in biomedical instrumentation at Google Life Sciences. At UNM, Victor’s lab specializes in using color centers in diamond as sensors of magnetism in physical, chemical, and biological systems.