High sensitivity spatially-resolved electron spin resonance as a new scientific tool

TYPECondensed Matter Seminar
Speaker:Prof. Aharon Blank
Affiliation:Chemistry - Technion
Location:Lidow Nathan Rosen (300)
Abstract:Magnetic resonance (MR) is one of the most profound methods of scientific observation. MR is concerned mainly with methodologies for observing nuclear spins (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, NMR) and electron spins (Electron Spin Resonance, ESR). It has a wide array of applications ranging from the determination of chemical structure and molecular dynamics to medical imaging and quantum computing. From a scientific standpoint, MR has been at the center of at least seven Nobel prizes in physics, chemistry, and medicine. From an industrial standpoint, MR is a multibillion industry aimed primarily at a wide set of medical (Magnetic Resonance Imaging, MRI) and chemical (NMR and ESR spectrometers) applications.

Despite the success of MR methodologies, their application is typically limited by their low sensitivity (the number of spins that can be detected) and by their coarse spatial resolution. Overcoming these two barriers will make possible a transformative development in the experimental sciences. Our laboratory main aims are to develop methodologies for the detection and imaging of electron spins in a general applicable manner that will enable us to achieve ultra high sensitivity and spatial resolution such that it can be considered as a new scientific tool. In contrast to other single-spin detection methods, our technique relies on detection via induction, which allows for a wide range of applications. Along with the basic methodological developments, we show examples how our new tool is used to address outstanding fundamental problems that were beyond experimental reach in the fields of biology and semiconductors. Furthermore, we discuss the future prospects of our work in the field of energy research, structural biology and spin-based quantum computing.