Coherent manipulation of nuclear spins in the strong driving regime

Dan Yudilevich, Alon Salhov, Ido Schaefer, Konstantin Herb, Alex Retzker, Amit Finkler*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Spin-based quantum information processing makes extensive use of spin-state manipulation. This ranges from dynamical decoupling of nuclear spins in quantum sensing experiments to applying logical gates on qubits in a quantum processor. Fast manipulation of spin states is highly desirable for accelerating experiments, enhancing sensitivity, and applying elaborate pulse sequences. Strong driving using intense radio-frequency (RF) fields can, therefore, facilitate fast manipulation and enable broadband excitation of spin species. In this work, we present an antenna for strong driving in quantum sensing experiments and theoretically address challenges of the strong driving regime. First, we designed and implemented a micron-scale planar spiral RF antenna capable of delivering intense fields to a sample. The planar antenna is tailored for quantum sensing experiments using the diamond’s nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center and should be applicable to other solid-state defects. The antenna has a broad bandwidth of 22 MHz, is compatible with scanning probes, and is suitable for cryogenic and ultrahigh vacuum conditions. We measure the magnetic field induced by the antenna and estimate a field-to-current ratio of 113 ± 16 G/A, representing a six-fold increase in efficiency compared to the state-of-the-art, crucial for cryogenic experiments. We demonstrate the antenna by driving Rabi oscillations in 1H spins of an organic sample on the diamond surface and measure 1H Rabi frequencies of over 500 kHz, i.e. π -pulses shorter than 1 μ s —an order of magnitude faster than previously reported in NV-based nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR). Finally, we discuss the implications of driving spins with a field tilted from the transverse plane in a regime where the driving amplitude is comparable to the spin-state splitting, such that the rotating wave approximation does not describe the dynamics well. We present a simple recipe to optimize pulse fidelity in this regime based on a phase and offset-shifted sine drive, which may be optimized in situ without numerical optimization procedures or precise modeling of the experiment. We consider this approach in a range of driving amplitudes and show that it is particularly efficient in the case of a tilted driving field. The results presented here constitute a foundation for implementing fast nuclear spin control in various systems.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number113042
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd on behalf of the Institute of Physics and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


  • Rabi oscillations
  • antenna
  • nitrogen vacancy center in diamond
  • nuclear spins
  • resonator
  • rotating wave approximation
  • strong driving


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