scanning magnetic microscope with NV center

Although the system acquired in the SESAME ImageSpin project is commercial (HORIBA/Qnami), it was only the second of its kind installed in the world. It is an extremely advanced system, which until recently existed only in home-made form in 3 laboratories in the world. It has therefore required (and will continue to require) both software and hardware developments. All these developments are carried out in parallel with extremely successful measurement campaigns, which have confirmed the enormous potential of this innovative technology.
Today, the system is working at full speed and has become essential in the laboratory. It has already had a significant impact in most of our regional, national and international themes and collaborations.

M-NV at UMPhy
M-NV & Karim Bouzehouane

Main steps

December 2020

Installation of the system

First half of 2021

Getting to grips with the system & Tests. Identification of necessary software evolutions
Software development with the manufacturer (Qnami)
Software update n°1
Development of a magnetic field module with HORIBA

Second semester of 2021

Software update n°2
Training of the first PhD student
Software update n°3
Training of the first post-doc


Due to its extreme sensitivity, the NV scanning magnetometry of diamond has been used at UMPHy mainly on systems with very low magnetizations such as antiferromagnetic materials (BiFeO3, TmFeO3, SmFeO3, NiO, Fe2O3), SAF (Synthetic Anti Ferromagnet) or ultra-thin ferromagnetic layers (Co<8Å).

Due to its non-perturbative aspect, this technology has proven to be very interesting also for ferromagnetic materials with extremely low coercive fields like YIG, which is a central material for modern magnonics. Until now, the observation of this family of materials was inaccessible to MFM (Magnetic Force Microscopy) and limited to MOKE (Magneto-Optical Imaging), and thus to a resolution ~ 500nm.


. Finco et al, Physical Review Letters 128, 187201 (2022). Imaging Topological Defects in a Noncollinear Antiferromagnet
. Zhong et al, PHYSICAL REVIEW APPLIED 17, 044051 (2022). Quantitative Imaging of Exotic Antiferromagnetic Spin Cycloids in BiFeO3 Thin Films