Optimized quantum sensing with a single electron spin using real-time adaptive measurements

C. Bonato, M. S. Blok, H. T. Dinani, D. W. Berry, M. L. Markham, D. J. Twitchen, R. Hanson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

41 Citations (Scopus)


Quantum sensors based on single solid-state spins promise a unique combination of sensitivity and spatial resolution. The key challenge in sensing is to achieve minimum estimation uncertainty within a given time and with high dynamic range. Adaptive strategies have been proposed to achieve optimal performance, but their implementation in solid-state systems has been hindered by the demanding experimental requirements. Here, we realize adaptive d.c. sensing by combining single-shot readout of an electron spin in diamond with fast feedback. By adapting the spin readout basis in real time based on previous outcomes, we demonstrate a sensitivity in Ramsey interferometry surpassing the standard measurement limit. Furthermore, we find by simulations and experiments that adaptive protocols offer a distinctive advantage over the best known non-adaptive protocols when overhead and limited estimation time are taken into account. Using an optimized adaptive protocol we achieve a magnetic field sensitivity of 6.1 ± 1.7nT Hz-1/2 over a wide range of 1.78 mT. These results open up a new class of experiments for solid-state sensors in which real-time knowledge of the measurement history is exploited to obtain optimal performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-252
Number of pages6
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Mar 2016


Cite this

Bonato, C., Blok, M. S., Dinani, H. T., Berry, D. W., Markham, M. L., Twitchen, D. J., & Hanson, R. (2016). Optimized quantum sensing with a single electron spin using real-time adaptive measurements. Nature Nanotechnology, 11(3), 247-252. https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2015.261