Laboratoire Charles Coulomb UMR 5221 CNRS/UM2 (L2C)


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Thermal quantum sensing at nanoscale

par Christelle EVE - publié le

Context :
In recent years, quantum sensing has attracted increasing attention thanks to its unprecedented combination of nanoscale mapping and non-invasively probing of very weak signals such as magnetic field or temperature. Such ability, out of reach with conventional sensors, has strong implications for fundamental physics in a wide range of fields, such as quantum mechanics, nanomagnetism, life science..., but also for industrial-scale applications like microelectronics. One major breakthrough in this field has been the recent development of diamond-based quantum sensors as highly sensitive magnetic field sensors with nanometric spatial resolution [2- 4]. Such probes exploit the quantum manipulation and read-out of the single spin state of a single atomic impurity in diamond : the nitrogen-vacancy center (NV center).

Scientific and technical work :
In addition to magnetic field imaging, the NV center-based probes also offer the potential for extraordinarily precise resolution of temperature with high spatial resolution [1]. The objective of the internship is to address this prospect, by implementing a novel sensing tool based on individual quantum defects in diamond for nanoscale thermal imaging. The first task will be to assess the performances of the single solid-state spins to measure nanoscale local temperature gradients. This quantum sensor will then be applied to investigate novel thermal effects in plasmonic structures made of nanoscale gold assemblies [5], down to the single nanoparticle level. This intership can be followed by a joint PhD work between Laboratoire Charles Coulomb and Institut Fresnel, on the enhancement of the sensor’s performance, based on a hybrid architecture capitalizing on the ultimate sensitivity of the spins to magnetic field and an efficient conversion of temperature gradient to magnetic fields by ferrimagnetic layers. The sensor will be applied to temperature imaging on plasmonic samples to quantify its performances. Its operation in single biological cells [6] will then be assessed.

[1] G. Kucsko, et al., Nature 500, 54–58 (2013)
Relevant publications of the host groups
[2] J.-P. Tetienne et al., Science 344, 1366 (2014)
[3] I. Gross et al., Nature 549, 252 (2017)
[4] I. Gross et al., Phys. Rev. Materials 2, 024406 (2018)
[5] G. Baffou et al., ACS Nano 7, 6478 (2013)
[6] H.M.L. Robert et al., Small 14, 1801910 (2018)

Contact :
Isabelle PHILIP – email : - Tel : 0467149923
Laboratoire Charles Coulomb, Université Montpellier and CNRS, Montpellier
Guillaume BAFFOU – email : - Tel : 0491288495
Institut Fresnel, Université Aix-Marseille, Centrale Marseille and CNRS, Marseille
Website : or
Thesis possibility after internship : YES – Funding : ANR THESEUS project