The QUTIS group at the UPV/EHU has participated in a piece of international research together with the CSIC and the University of Ulm in Germany
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) is the technique behind a variety of applications, such as medical imaging, neuroscience or detection of drugs and explosives.
With the help of quantum sensors, NMR has been adapted to work in the nanoscale regime, where it has both the potential to impact many disciplines, such as life sciences, biology, medicine, and to provide measurements of incomparable precision and sensitivity.
In particular, "we expect that the combination of quantum sensors and dynamical decoupling techniques allows NMR imaging of single biomolecules" said the authors, among which are Dr. Jorge Casanova (Ikerbasque researcher) and Ikerbasque Professor Enrique Solano, at the Quantum Technologies for Information Science (QUTIS) group of the UPV/EHU's Department of Physical Chemistry, as well as researchers of the CSIC, and the University of Ulm (Germany).
This quantum-enhanced NMR "will be able to resolve chemical shifts in tiny picoliter samples, producing biosensors with unparalleled sensitivity and providing new insights into the structure, dynamics, and function of biomolecules and biological processes", they added.
In this context, a fundamental tool to improve the sensitivity of NMR setups is to apply large magnetic fields "that polarize our samples, enhance the signal and increase coherence", they pointed out.
This strategy is used, for instance, in MRI, where the human body is subject to large magnetic fields generated by superconducting coils. There are however problems when interfacing these samples with our quantum sensors, "because our samples may oscillate much faster than our sensor can follow".
In the work published in Physical Review Letters, the authors developed a protocol to allow a quantum sensor to measure the nuclear and electronic spins in arbitrary samples, even when they happen in large magnetic fields. These methods use a low-power microwave radiation to bridge the energy difference between their sensor and the sample.
"The protocol is robust and requires less energy than previous techniques. This not only extends the operation regime of the sensor to stronger magnetic fields, but also prevents the heating of biological samples that would result when using conventional protocols and microwave powers. As a consequence, this work opens a new research line and paves the way for the safe use of nanoscale NMR in the study of biological samples and large biomolecules," said the authors.
Jorge Casanova, Erik Torrontegui, Martin Plenio, Juan-José García Ripoll, Enrique Solano.
Modulated continuous wave control for energy-efficient electron-nuclear spin coupling.
Physical review letters (2019)
Matxalen Sotillo | EurekAlert!
Unusual electron sharing found in cool crystal
31.07.2020 | Nagoya University
TU Graz Researchers synthesize nanoparticles tailored for special applications
30.07.2020 | Technische Universität Graz
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
Although no life has been detected on the Martian surface, a new study from astrophysicist and research scientist at the Center for Space Science at NYU Abu...
New approach creates synthetic layered magnets with unprecedented level of control over their magnetic properties
The magnetic properties of a chromium halide can be tuned by manipulating the non-magnetic atoms in the material, a team, led by Boston College researchers,...
Scientists of Tomsk Polytechnic University jointly with a team of the V.E. Zuev Institute of Atmospheric Optics of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences have discovered a method to increase the operation range of optical traps also known
Optical tweezers are a device which uses a laser beam to move micron-sized objects such as living cells, proteins, and molecules. In 2018, the American...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
31.07.2020 | Earth Sciences
31.07.2020 | Life Sciences
31.07.2020 | Information Technology