Magnetic imaging with an ensemble of nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond

  • Mayeul Chipaux
  • Alexandre Tallaire
  • Jocelyn Achard
  • Sébastien Pezzagna
  • Jan Meijer
  • Vincent Jacques
  • Jean-François Roch
  • Thierry Debuisschert
Regular Article


The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) color center in diamond is an atom-like system in the solid-state which specific spin properties can be efficiently used as a sensitive magnetic sensor. An external magnetic field induces Zeeman shifts of the NV center levels which can be measured using optically detected magnetic resonance (ODMR). In this work, we quantitatively map the vectorial structure of the magnetic field produced by a sample close to the surface of a CVD diamond hosting a thin layer of NV centers. The magnetic field reconstruction is based on a maximum-likelihood technique which exploits the response of the four intrinsic orientations of the NV center inside the diamond lattice. The sensitivity associated to a 1 μm2 area of the doped layer, equivalent to a sensor consisting of approximately 104 NV centers, is of the order of 2 μT/√Hz. The spatial resolution of the imaging device is 480 nm, limited by the numerical aperture of the optical microscope which is used to collect the photoluminescence of the NV layer. The effectiveness of the method is illustrated by the accurate reconstruction of the magnetic field created by a DC current inside a copper wire deposited on the diamond sample.

Graphical abstract


Atomic Physics 


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Copyright information

© EDP Sciences, SIF, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mayeul Chipaux
    • 1
  • Alexandre Tallaire
    • 2
  • Jocelyn Achard
    • 2
  • Sébastien Pezzagna
    • 3
  • Jan Meijer
    • 3
  • Vincent Jacques
    • 4
  • Jean-François Roch
    • 4
  • Thierry Debuisschert
    • 1
  1. 1.Thales Research & TechnologyPalaiseau CEDEXFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire des Sciences des Procédés et des MatériauxCNRS and Université Paris 13VilletaneuseFrance
  3. 3.Institut für Experimentelle Physik IIUniversity LeipzigLeipzigGermany
  4. 4.Laboratoire Aimé Cotton, CNRSUniversité Paris-Sud and Ecole Normale Supérieure de CachanOrsayFrance

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