Physics Colloquium - The Quest for Nanoscale Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Event Date: 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 - 4:00pm

Event Location: 

  • Broida 1640


Dan Rugar, IBM Alamaden Research Center


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has become an indispensable tool in the medical community because of its ability to take the detailed three-dimensional images of interior structures without the need for ionizing radiation. If such a capability could be scaled to the nanometer level and thereby provide detailed three-dimensional images of individual molecules and molecular complexes, it could have a major imapct on structural biology and the nanosciences. Achieving nanoscale resolution is a daunting challenge, however, since it requires at least a trillion-fold improvement in detection sensitivity over conventional techniques. I will discuss two approaches that show particular promise: the detection of attonewton magnetic forces by magnetic resonance force microscopy (MRFM) and quantum magnetomoetry using nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond.