A diamond-based scanning probe spin sensor operating at low temperature in ultra-high vacuum
We present the design and performance of an ultra-high vacuum (UHV) low temperature scanning probe microscope employing the nitrogen-vacancy color center in diamond as an ultrasensitive magnetic field sensor. Using this center as an atomic-size scanning probe has enabled imaging of nanoscale magnetic fields and single spins under ambient conditions. In this article we describe an experimental setup to operate this sensor in a cryogenic UHV environment. This will extend the applicability to a variety of molecular systems due to the enhanced target spin lifetimes at low temperature and the controlled sample preparation under UHV conditions. The instrument combines a tuning-fork based atomic force microscope (AFM) with a high numeric aperture confocal microscope and the facilities for application of radio-frequency (RF) fields for spin manipulation. We verify a sample temperature of <50 K even for strong laser and RF excitation and demonstrate magnetic resonance imaging with a magnetic AFM tip. (C) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.