Optically induced dynamic nuclear spin polarisation in diamond

Jochen Scheuer, Ilai Schwartz, Qiong Chen, David Schulze-Sünninghausen, Patrick Carl, Peter Höfer, Alexander Retzker, Hitoshi Sumiya, Junichi Isoya, Burkhard Luy, Martin B. Plenio, Boris Naydenov, Fedor Jelezko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The sensitivity of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) depends strongly on nuclear spin polarisation and, motivated by this observation, dynamical nuclear spin polarisation has recently been applied to enhance MRI protocols (Kurhanewicz et al 2011 Neoplasia 13 81). Nuclear spins associated with the 13C carbon isotope (nuclear spin I = 1/2) in diamond possess uniquely long spin lattice relaxation times (Reynhardt and High 2011 Prog. Nucl. Magn. Reson. Spectrosc. 38 37). If they are present in diamond nanocrystals, especially when strongly polarised, they form a promising contrast agent for MRI. Current schemes for achieving nuclear polarisation, however, require cryogenic temperatures. Here we demonstrate an efficient scheme that realises optically induced 13C nuclear spin hyperpolarisation in diamond at room temperature and low ambient magnetic field. Optical pumping of a nitrogen-vacancy centre creates a continuously renewable electron spin polarisation which can be transferred to surrounding 13C nuclear spins. Importantly for future applications we also realise polarisation protocols that are robust against an unknown misalignment between magnetic field and crystal axis.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number013040
JournalNew Journal of Physics
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft.


  • diamond
  • dynamical nuclear polarisation (DNP)
  • nitrogen-vacancy (NV)
  • nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)


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