Imaging antiferromagnets with a single spin magnetometer

A consortium of research groups from the Universtié de Montpellier, Université Paris-Saclay, Universität Basel, CEA Saclay, and the Synchrotron SOLEIL has demonstrated the first real-space imaging of antiferromagnetic spin spirals in the multiferroic material bismuth iron oxide. The technique involves quantum sensing with a single spin magnetometer. A nice overview of this work can be found on the Oxitronics Group (UMPhy CNRS-Thales) website and on

Reference: I. Gross et al., Nature 549, 252–256 (2017).

Diamonds provide relief to magnetic landscapes


Reference: J.-P. Tetienne et al., “Nanoscale imaging and control of domain-wall hopping with a nitrogen-vacancy center microscope”, Science 334, 1366-1369 (2014).

Are diamonds a physicist’s best friend? Using specially engineered diamonds, scientists at the École Normale Supérieure de Cachan in France, in collaboration with researchers at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and Paris-Sud University, have devised a new way to map the landscape for magnetic objects on the nanometer scale. The technique opens up many possibilities for more energy-efficient microelectronic devices and increased information storage in the near future. It seems diamonds may provide the glimmer of hope that proponents of this technology seek.

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