Enhanced Optical 13C Hyperpolarization in Diamond Treated by High-Temperature Rapid Thermal Annealing

Max Gierth, Valentin Krespach, Alexander I. Shames, Priyanka Raghavan, Emanuel Druga, Nicholas Nunn, Marco Torelli, Ruhee Nirodi, Susan Le, Richard Zhao, Alessandra Aguilar, Xudong Lv, Mengze Shen, Carlos A. Meriles, Jeffrey A. Reimer, Alexander Zaitsev, Alexander Pines, Olga Shenderova, Ashok Ajoy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Methods of optical dynamic nuclear polarization open the door to the replenishable hyperpolarization of nuclear spins, boosting their nuclear magnetic resonance/imaging signatures by orders of magnitude. Nanodiamond powder rich in negatively charged nitrogen vacancy defect centers has recently emerged as one such promising platform, wherein 13C nuclei can be hyperpolarized through the optically pumped defects completely at room temperature. Given the compelling possibility of relaying this 13C polarization to nuclei in external liquids, there is an urgent need for the engineered production of highly “hyperpolarizable” diamond particles. Here, a systematic study of various material dimensions affecting optical 13C hyperpolarization in diamond particles is reported on. It is discovered surprisingly that diamond annealing at elevated temperatures ∼1720 °C has remarkable effects on the hyperpolarization levels enhancing them by above an order of magnitude over materials annealed through conventional means. It is demonstrated these gains arise from a simultaneous improvement in NV electron relaxation/coherence times, as well as the reduction of paramagnetic content, and an increase in 13C relaxation lifetimes. This work suggests methods for the guided materials production of fluorescent, 13C hyperpolarized, nanodiamonds and pathways for their use as multimodal (optical and magnetic resonance) imaging and hyperpolarization agents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000050
JournalAdvanced Quantum Technologies
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2020


  • NV centers
  • dynamic nuclear polarization
  • high-temperature annealing
  • hyperpolarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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