University of Basel

Welcome to the quantum sensing lab

Our laboratory is located in the Department of Physics of the University of Basel in Switzerland. Our research is centered around the emerging field of "Quantum sensing", where the use of individual, well-controlled quantum systems as high-performance sensing devices is being explored. We concentrate on implementing various types of such sensors and on applying them to outstanding scientific tasks in mesoscopic physics, nano-science and technology. At the moment, our quantum system of choice for these purposes is the Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) color center in diamond, whose exceptional quantum-coherent properties allow for high-performance sensing applications (such as single-electron spin detection) even at room temperature. To learn more about our research and the details underlying the various NV-based quantum sensory applications we pursue, visit our research page.


We are currently hiring on the Masters- Ph.D.- and Postdoc-level. Please see our job-openings for details.

Latest news from the lab

2014/03/24: Paper on (111) orientated diamond posted

Elke's paper on Photonic nano-structures on (111) oriented diamond has been posted. We demonstrate fabrication of single-crystalline diamond nanopillars on a (111)-oriented diamond and find one of the highest reported saturated fluorescence count rates in single crystalline diamond.

2014/03/13: Paper on a strain-coupled hybrid spin-oscillator system posted

Jean's paper entitled Resolved sidebands in a strain-coupled hybrid spin-oscillator system has been posted. The paper reports on coupling of a single NV-center to the motion of mechanical resonators by a novel mechanism based on crystal strain. It determines the strain coupling constants of the NV-center and demonstrates the resolved sideband regime. This regime will allow efficient optomechanical cooperativity of the hybrid-system.

2014/02/01: Lucas Thiel rejoins the quantum sensing Group

Lucas will work as a Ph.D. student on the low-temperature magnetometry experiment.

2014/01/27: Paper on NV-MRI gets published in Nature Nanotechnology

M. S. Grinolds' paper on Subnanometre resolution in three-dimensional magnetic resonance imaging of individual dark spins will be published in Nature Nanotechnology.

2013/11/20: Review paper on NV magnetometry posted

We have finally posted our review paper on Magnetometry with nitrogen-vacancy defects in diamond. This manuscript gives an extensiv review of recent progress in high-sensitivity nanoscale NV magnetometry, generates an overview of the most pertinent results of the last years and highlights perspectives for future developments.

2013/10/01: Arne Barfuss joins the quantum sensing Group

Arne will work as a Ph.D. student on our spin optomechanics experiment.

2013/07/01: Marc Ganzhorn joins the quantum sensing Group

Marc will work as a postdoc on our cryogenic, scanning NV magnetometry experiment.

2013/05/01: Finally: Our Lab-renovations are completed.

Stay tuned for some pictures from our brand-new labs.

2013/02/11: Jean Teissier joins the quantum sensing Group

Jean will work as a postdoc on our spin-optomechanics experiments.

2013/02/03: Paper on magnetic imaging of a single electron spin accepted for publication in Nature Physics

For details see our publications list and the September 2 news-entry.

2012/12/12: We are movie stars

The official QSIT movie has just been published. Check it out:

2012/11/01: The Quantum-Sensing Group doubles in size again

We welcome Patrick Appel and Elke Neu, a new Ph.D. student and postdoc in the Quantum-Sensing Group.

2012/09/02: Paper on magnetic imaging of a single electron spin posted

We have finally posted our paper on Nanoscale magnetic imaging of a single electron spin under ambient conditions. This work demonstrates the power and potential of NV magnetic imaging: Electronic spins are at the heart of the vast majority of all magnetic phenomena; the capability of sensing the magnetic field from a single electron is thus an important milestone and an indispensable ingredient to our future experiments. Note that no other technique allows for quantitative magnetic imaging of single spins, let alone operation at room temperature and minimal invasiveness.

2012/07/16: Paper on mechanical spin control accepted in Nano Letters

Our paper on mechanical spin control of a single NV center is accepted in Nano Letters. This work was accomplished with the Harvard "NVAFM-team". In this work we showed how to synchronize a mechanical oscillator with spin-manipulation protocols of single NV centers and how these techniques can be used for magnetometry and spin-manipulation applications. The schemes described in this paper will form an important ingredient to our experiments on spin-optomechanics.

2012/06/05: The Quantum-Sensing Group doubles in size

We welcome Lucas Thiel as a new Master Project student in the Quantum-Sensing Group.

2012/03/22: Affiliation with NCCR-QSIT

As of now, our group is an official member of NCCR-QSIT - Quantum Systems for Information Technology. QSIT is a national competence center in research focussed on exploring and promoting quantum technologies. We are excited to partake in this highly stimulating programme and look forward to fruitful collaborations within QSIT.

2012/03/20: Paper on diamond scanning probes accepted in Nature Nanotechnology

Our paper on scanning single NV microscopy using all-diamond scanning probes is accepted in Nature Nanotechnology. This work was accomplished with the Harvard "NVAFM-team" and forms a significant advance in scanning NV magnetometry and other single-NV based sensing schemes. The techniques described in this paper will also form the basis for some of the experiments we will pursue in Basel.

2012/02/01: The Quantum-Sensing Group starts its activities

February 1st, Prof. Patrick Maletinsky officially joined Basel's Physics Department to establish his "Quantum-Sensing" research group.