Nanoscale Magnetometry with Single Fluorescent Nanodiamonds Manipulated in an Anti-Brownian Electrokinetic Trap

Studies on single-molecule spectroscopy and nanoscale detection have been remarkably driven by an interest to reveal quantum and conformational states of single particles, the intra-molecular dynamics and their response to physical observables hidden by ensemble level measurements. A straightforward practice used in enhancing the signal from single particles is either to immobilize them on an engineered substrate or to embed them in a solid matrix. Given that the biophysical properties of the host environment introduce new perturbations and the particles will not behave as in their native environment, such approaches are inefficient to reflect the real dynamics. Therefore, recent advances in the field of single-molecule have led to a renewed interest in novel trapping methods, increased efforts into the development of promising tools for extended investigation, and the manipulation of solution-phase bio-molecules in real time. Despite the variety of successful passive trapping techniques, precise manipulation through non-perturbative forces is a big challenge for nano-sized particles. Such techniques either exert high power to the sample or compel special operating conditions disturbing the native environment. Therefore, an active trapping scheme guiding non-perturbative forces can break the trade-off between the particle size and the excreted power. This dissertation presents the development of an active trapping set-up using non-perturbative electrokinetic feedback and demonstrates its performance on nano-sized single particles for aims in biophysics. The essential theme is the engineering aspect of the technique, including the feedback configurations for various fluidic devices, the corresponding particle tracking schemes and the integration of the trapping platform to an integrated circuit pattern for advanced manipulation aims. The second theme is on specialized single fluorescence nanodiamonds (FNDs) as scanning magnetometer in fluidics. The implemented active trapping tool is employed for the manipulation of a rotationally free single FND to detect the localized magnetic field through an optically detected magnetic resonance (ODMR) spectrum. While the laser beam used in particle tracking can serve in optical excitation, an external radio frequency (RF) source is not sufficient to achieve microwave manipulation. Therefore, an RF antenna is designed to transmit the microwave signal to the proximity of the trapping chamber for electron spin resonance (ESR) spectroscopy. A nanostage positioning controller introduces scanning ability to the sample plane, in relative position of the trapped particle, in order to map the distribution of the detected fields over a fluidic volume. As FNDs are also sensitive to many other physical quantities, nanoscale single particle trapping and diamond photonics linkages are realized in this work, which provide an outstanding alternative for detection and imaging in complex fluidic environments that are closed to AFM-like physically supported probes.

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