In modern-day quantum metrology, quantum sensors are widely employed to detect weak magnetic fields or nanoscale signals. Quantum devices, exploiting quantum coherence, are inevitably connected to physical constants and can achieve accuracy, repeatability, and precision approaching fundamental limits. As a result, these sensors have shown utility in a wide range of research domains spanning both science and technology. A rapidly emerging quantum sensing platform employs atomic-scale defects in crystals. In particular, magnetometry using nitrogen-vacancy (NV) color centers in diamond has garnered increasing interest. NV systems possess a combination of remarkable properties, optical addressability, long coherence times, and biocompatibility. Sensors based on NV centers excel in spatial resolution and magnetic sensitivity. These diamond-based sensors promise comparable combination of high spatial resolution and magnetic sensitivity without cryogenic operation. The above properties of NV magnetometers promise increasingly integrated quantum measurement technology, as a result, they have been extensively developed with various protocols and find use in numerous applications spanning materials characterization, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), condensed matter physics, paleomagnetism, neuroscience and living systems biology, and industrial vector magnetometry. In this chapter, NV centers are explored for magnetic sensing in a number of contexts. In general, we introduce novel regimes for magnetic-field probes with NV ensembles. Specifically, NV centers are developed for sensitive magnetometers for applications where microwaves (MWs) are prohibitively invasive and operations need to be carried out under zero ambient magnetic field. The primary goal of our discussion is to improve the utility of these NV center-based magnetometers.
Part of the book: Engineering Applications of Diamond