The research group focuses on innovating techniques of imaging and sensing spins for bioscience applications. The efforts will involve developing ultra precise sensors using spins in diamond for sensing very weak magnetic fields at micro-nanoscopic length scales. We will employ techniques of nuclear magnetic resonance combined with ultrasensitive diamond spin probes to obtain insights into the molecular structure and assembly of biomolecular complexes. The technique holds potentials to emerge as a method for structure elucidation of single biomolecules reaching atomic resolutions.
Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) center is a unique defect in diamond lattice that has astounding properties. The single spins associated with the defect can be optically polarized, manipulated and read-out. To date these defects hold the record for the longest spin coherence time in solid-state spin system at room temperature. These remarkable properties make NV center a unique atom sized, optically readable, ultra-precision magnetic field sensor. The research focus is directed towards developing nanoscale diamond sensor for biomolecular applications. The experimentally achieved sensitivities using single NV centers have shown to reach few nT/√Hz. The magnitude of magnetic field and the fluctuations caused by a single electron spin or a few nuclear spins exceeds these values at nanoscopic proximities. The NV sensor has the ability to map the spin density and strength giving an idea about the molecular structure and assembly of biomolecular complexes. A molecular structure microscope using NV center holds potentials to emerge as a method for structure elucidation of single biomolecules reaching atomic resolutions.