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project R-7697

Title : Nanoscale Magnetic Resonance Imaging of Individual Molecules (R-7697)
Abstract: The development of imaging and sensing technologies revolutionized several fields of science and led to invention of new technologies during last centuries. The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) quantum spin centre in diamond is one of the most promising quantum systems for nanoscale imaging. In the proposed PhD, NV centres in diamond fabricated a few nanometres beneath the diamond surface are used as an atomic-scale quantum sensor. The applicant develops magnetic resonance techniques that are applied for single molecular imaging and for resolving the structure of individual molecules. These techniques are not perturbing and non-invasive. The novel concept of the quantum sensors is based on the electrical detection of MR in which the electrical current induced upon illumination is detected, resulting in a hybrid opto-electrical device. The applicant will design such quantum chip and optimise its function. The electrical current makes possible a 3-orders of magnitude acceleration of the readout, thus molecules and radical with very low concentrations can be detected at single-molecule level. The applicant will develop guidance programme based on the pulse MRI protocols to acquire MR data for spatial dependence of spin density. This will be further used for an advanced image analysis based on the detected signals and quantum physical description of the system. As a result the applicant will aim to spatially resolve proton structure in individual molecules such as DNA or proteins. The theoretical part of the work is executed in Prague at CTU and the practical part at UHasselt.
Period of project : 1/02/2017to31/12/2020