PhD - Defect Engineering in Diamond for Magnetic Field Imaging and Gradiometry

University of Oxford

Professor Jason Smith and Professor Martin Booth, Dept of Engineering Science

Nitrogen-vacancy (NV) defects in diamond have generated enormous interest in recent years for their highly coherent spin properties and convenient optical interface. Magnetometry using the electron spin in an ensemble of NV- defect has been shown to be capable of detecting fields of <1 pT Hz-1/2 such that their use as quantum field sensors is generating significant industrial interest. Companies known to be building commercial magnetometry systems with NV centres include Bosch (navigation systems), and several organisations are developing NV-based magnetic imaging systems with ~10nm resolution for biological and physical sciences.

In the past two years we have demonstrated that laser processing with aberration correction can produce high quality single NV centres at precise locations in bulk diamond materials. This PhD project will use the technique we have developed (patent applied for) to produce regular 2D and 3D arrays of NV centres in diamond, and use these arrays to demonstrate magnetic field imaging and gradiometry.

The student will carry out laser processing in the Booth group, and characterisation using photoluminescence spectroscopy and optically detected magnetic resonance in the Smith group. He/she will measure the electron spin coherence times of the NV centres to assess their suitability for magnetometry. The best samples will be used to demonstrate magnetic field imaging and gradiometry. The project will take place within the UK Quantum Technologies programme, with the goal to produce commercial technologies from quantum science. Oxford hosts the UK Hub in Networked Quantum Information Technologies, providing an exciting and dynamic environment in which to carry out the project (see

Candidates are considered in the January 2017 admissions cycle which has an application deadline of 20 January 2017.

The NQIT Hub is funded by an award to a consortium of nine universities and is supported by a number of commercial and governmental partners, including the EPSRC. This 3-year studentship will provide full fees and maintenance for a student as home fee status (this includes an EU student who has spent the previous three years (or more) in the UK undertaking undergraduate study). The stipend will be at least £14,296 per year. Other EU students should read the guidance at for further information about eligibility.

Any questions concerning the project can be addressed to Professor Jason Smith ( General enquiries on how to apply can be made by e‑mail to You must complete the standard Oxford University Application for Graduate Studies. Further information and an electronic copy of the application form can be found at

Share this PhD
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:



South East England