Magnetic resonance force microscopy of nuclear spins: Detection and manipulation of statistical polarization

H. J. Mamin, R. Budakian, B. W. Chui, D. Rugar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We have detected and manipulated the naturally occurring N statistical polarization in nuclear spin ensembles using magnetic resonance force microscopy. Using protocols previously developed for detecting single electron spins, we have measured signals from ensembles of nuclear spins in a volume of roughly (150 nm)3 with a sensitivity of roughly 2000 net spins in a 2.5 h averaging window. Three systems have been studied, F19 nuclei in Ca F2, and H1 nuclei (protons) in both polymethylmethacrylate and collagen, a naturally occurring protein. By detecting the statistical polarization, we not only can work with relatively small ensembles, but we eliminate any need to wait a longitudinal relaxation time T1 to polarize the spins. We have also made use of the fact that the statistical polarization, which can be considered a form of spin noise, has a finite correlation time. A method similar to one previously proposed by Carlson [Bull. Am. Phys. Soc. 44, 541 (1999)] has been used to suppress the effect of the statistical uncertainty and extract meaningful information from time-averaged measurements. By implementing this method, we have successfully made nutation and transverse spin relaxation time measurements in Ca F2 at low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024413
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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