nuclear magnetic resonance
Nat. Commun.: Local and bulk 13C hyperpolarization in nitrogen-vacancy-centred diamonds at variable fields and orientations
Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Christian O. Bretschneider, Ran Fischer, Paz London, Hisao Kanda, Shinobu Onoda, Junichi Isoya, David Gershoni & Lucio Frydman
Polarizing nuclear spins is of fundamental importance in biology, chemistry and physics. Methods for hyperpolarizing 13C nuclei from free electrons in bulk usually demand operation at cryogenic temperatures. Room temperature approaches targeting diamonds with nitrogen-vacancy centres could alleviate this need; however, hitherto proposed strategies lack generality as they demand stringent conditions on the strength and/or alignment of the magnetic field. We report here an approach for achieving efficient electron-13C spin-alignment transfers, compatible with a broad range of magnetic field strengths and field orientations with respect to the diamond crystal. This versatility results from combining coherent microwave- and incoherent laser-induced transitions between selected energy states of the coupled electron–nuclear spin manifold. 13C-detected nuclear magnetic resonance experiments demonstrate that this hyperpolarization can be transferred via first-shell or via distant 13Cs throughout the nuclear bulk ensemble. This method opens new perspectives for applications of diamond nitrogen-vacancy centres in nuclear magnetic resonance, and in quantum information processing.
Nonequilibrium dynamics of many-body systems are important in many scientific fields. Here, we report the experimental observation of a phase transition of the quantum coherent dynamics of a three-dimensional many-spin system with dipolar interactions. Using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) on a solid-state system of spins at room-temperature, we quench the interaction Hamiltonian to drive the evolution of the system. Depending on the quench strength, we then observe either localized or extended dynamics of the system coherence. We extract the critical exponents for the localized cluster size of correlated spins and diffusion coefficient around the phase transition separating the localized from the delocalized dynamical regime. These results show that NMR techniques are well suited to studying the nonequilibrium dynamics of complex many-body systems.
Gonzalo A. Álvarez (1), Dieter Suter (2), Robin Kaiser (3)
(1) Department of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, 76100, Rehovot, Israel.
(2) Fakultät Physik, Technische Universität Dortmund, D-44221, Dortmund, Germany.
(3) Institut Non-Linéaire de Nice, CNRS, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis, 06560, Valbonne, France.
Noam Shemesh, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Lucio Frydman
Published: July 21, 2015
Objects making up complex porous systems in Nature usually span a range of sizes. These size distributions play fundamental roles in defining the physicochemical, biophysical and physiological properties of a wide variety of systems – ranging from advanced catalytic materials to Central Nervous System diseases. Accurate and noninvasive measurements of size distributions in opaque, three-dimensional objects, have thus remained long-standing and important challenges. Herein we describe how a recently introduced diffusion-based magnetic resonance methodology, Non-Uniform-Oscillating-Gradient-Spin-Echo(NOGSE), can determine such distributions noninvasively. The method relies on its ability to probe confining lengths with a (length)^6 parametric sensitivity, in a constant-time, constant-number-of-gradients fashion; combined, these attributes provide sufficient sensitivity for characterizing the underlying distributions in μm-scaled cellular systems. Theoretical derivations and simulations are presented to verify NOGSE’s ability to faithfully reconstruct size distributions through suitable modeling of their distribution parameters. Experiments in yeast cell suspensions – where the ground truth can be determined from ancillary microscopy – corroborate these trends experimentally. Finally, by appending to the NOGSE protocol an imaging acquisition, novel MRI maps of cellular size distributions were collected from a mouse brain. The ensuing micro-architectural contrasts successfully delineated distinctive hallmark anatomical sub-structures, in both white matter and gray matter tissues, in a non-invasive manner. Such findings highlight NOGSE’s potential for characterizing aberrations in cellular size distributions upon disease, or during normal processes such as development.
Editor: Ichio Aoki, National Institute of Radiological Sciences, JAPAN
Received: November 25, 2014; Accepted: June 24, 2015; Published: July 21, 2015
Copyright: © 2015 Shemesh et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
Diffusion-assisted selective dynamical recoupling: A new approach to measure background gradients in magnetic resonance | J. Chem. Phys. (2014)
Diffusion-assisted selective dynamical recoupling: A new approach to measure background gradients in magnetic resonance
Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Noam Shemesh and Lucio Frydman
J. Chem. Phys. 140, 084205 (2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4865335
Dynamical decoupling, a generalization of the original NMR spin-echo sequence, is becoming increasingly relevant as a tool for reducing decoherence in quantum systems. Such sequences apply non-equidistant refocusing pulses for optimizing the coupling between systems, and environmental fluctuations characterized by a given noise spectrum. One such sequence, dubbed Selective Dynamical Recoupling SDR [P. E. S. Smith, G. Bensky, G. A. Álvarez, G. Kurizki, and L. Frydman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 109, 5958 (2012)], allows one to coherently reintroduce diffusion decoherence effects driven by fluctuations arising from restricted molecular diffusion [G. A. Álvarez, N. Shemesh, and L. Frydman, Phys. Rev. Lett. 111, 080404 (2013)]. The fully-refocused, constant-time, and constant-number-of-pulses nature of SDR also allows one to filter out “intrinsic” T1 and T2 weightings, as well as pulse errors acting as additional sources of decoherence. This article explores such features when the fluctuations are now driven by unrestricted molecular diffusion. In particular, we show that diffusion-driven SDR can be exploited to investigate the decoherence arising from the frequency fluctuations imposed by internal gradients. As a result, SDR presents a unique way of probing and characterizing these internal magnetic fields, given an a priori known free diffusion coefficient. This has important implications in studies of structured systems, including porous media and live tissues, where the internal gradients may serve as fingerprints for the systems composition or structure. The principles of this method, along with full analytical solutions for the unrestricted diffusion-driven modulation of the SDR signal, are presented. The potential of this approach is demonstrated with the generation of a novel source of MRI contrast, based on the background gradients active in an ex vivo mouse brain. Additional features and limitations of this new method are discussed.
© 2014 AIP Publishing LLC
Quantum simulations of localization effects with dipolar interactions
Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Robin Kaiser, Dieter Suter
Quantum information processing often uses systems with dipolar interactions. Here a nuclear spin-based quantum simulator is used to study the spreading of information in such a dipolar-coupled system. While the information spreads with no apparent limits in the case of ideal dipolar couplings, additional perturbations limit the spreading, leading to localization. In previous work [Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 230403 (2010)], it was found that the system size reaches a dynamic equilibrium that decreases with the square of the perturbation strength. This work examines the impact of a disordered Hamiltonian with dipolar interactions. It shows that the expansion of the cluster of spins freezes in the presence of large disorder, reminiscent of Anderson localization of non-interacting waves in a disordered potential.
Keywords: spin dynamics;dipolar interaction;decoherence;localization;disorder;NMR;long range interactions;quantum information processing
Annalen der Physik
Special Issue on “Quantum Simulations“, featuring review papers written by last year’s Nobel Prize winners describing their foundational work (Wineland and Haroche). Issue edited by: Rainer Blatt, Immanuel Bloch, Ignacio Cirac, Peter Zoller.
Ann. Phys. 525, 833 (2013).
© 2013 by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
Measuring small compartment dimensions by probing diffusion dynamics via Non-uniform Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo NOGSE NMR | J. Magn. Reson. (2013)
Measuring small compartment dimensions by probing diffusion dynamics via Non-uniform Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo NOGSE NMR
Noam Shemesh, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Lucio Frydman.
Department of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot 76100, Israel.
•NOGSE, a novel diffusion MR approach for measuring pore sizes, is presented and analyzed.
•NOGSE is based on a constant time and a constant number of oscillating gradients.
•Experiments on microstructural phantoms, spinal cords and brains, validate NOGSE.
Noninvasive measurements of microstructure in materials, cells, and in biological tissues, constitute a unique capability of gradient-assisted NMR. Diffusion–diffraction MR approaches pioneered by Callaghan demonstrated this ability; Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo OGSE methodologies tackle the demanding gradient amplitudes required for observing diffraction patterns by utilizing constant-frequency oscillating gradient pairs that probe the diffusion spectrum, Dω. Here we present a new class of diffusion MR experiments, termed Non-uniform Oscillating-Gradient Spin-Echo NOGSE, which dynamically probe multiple frequencies of the diffusion spectral density at once, thus affording direct microstructural information on the compartment’s dimension. The NOGSE methodology applies N constant-amplitude gradient oscillations; N − 1 of these oscillations are spaced by a characteristic time x, followed by a single gradient oscillation characterized by a time y, such that the diffusion dynamics is probed while keeping N − 1x + y ≡ TNOGSE constant. These constant-time, fixed-gradient-amplitude, multi-frequency attributes render NOGSE particularly useful for probing small compartment dimensions with relatively weak gradients – alleviating difficulties associated with probing Dω frequency-by-frequency or with varying relaxation weightings, as in other diffusion-monitoring experiments. Analytical descriptions of the NOGSE signal are given, and the sequence’s ability to extract small compartment sizes with a sensitivity towards length to the sixth power, is demonstrated using a microstructural phantom. Excellent agreement between theory and experiments was evidenced even upon applying weak gradient amplitudes. An MR imaging version of NOGSE was also implemented in ex vivo pig spinal cords and mouse brains, affording maps based on compartment sizes. The effects of size distributions on NOGSE are also briefly analyzed.
Restricted diffusion; Oscillating gradients; OGSE; Microstructure; Magnetic resonance imaging; CNS; Gradient echoes; Selective dynamical recoupling
Robustness of dynamical decoupling sequences
Mustafa Ahmed Ali Ahmed [1,2], Gonzalo A. Álvarez [1,3], and Dieter Suter 
1Fakultät Physik, Technische Universität Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany
2Department of Physics, International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan
3Department of Chemical Physics, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
Active protection of quantum states is an essential prerequisite for the implementation of quantum computing. Dynamical decoupling (DD) is a promising approach that applies sequences of control pulses to the system in order to reduce the adverse effect of system-environment interactions. Since every hardware device has finite precision, the errors of the DD control pulses can themselves destroy the stored information rather than protect it. We experimentally compare the performance of different DD sequences in the presence of an environment that was chosen such that all relevant DD sequences can equally suppress its effect on the system. Under these conditions, the remaining decay of the qubits under DD allows us to compare very precisely the robustness of the different DD sequences with respect to imperfections of the control pulses.
©2013 American Physical Society
Experimental protection of quantum gates against decoherence and control errors | Phys. Rev. A 86, 050301(R) 2012
Experimental protection of quantum gates against decoherence and control errors
Alexandre M. Souza, Gonzalo A. Álvarez, and Dieter Suter
Fakultät Physik, Technische Universität Dortmund, D-44221, Dortmund, Germany
One of the biggest challenges for implementing quantum devices is the requirement to perform accurate quantum gates. The destructive effects of interactions with the environment present some of the most difficult obstacles that must be overcome for precise quantum control. In this work we implement a proof of principle experiment of quantum gates protected against a fluctuating environment and control pulse errors using dynamical decoupling techniques. We show that decoherence can be reduced during the application of quantum gates. High-fidelity quantum gates can be achieved even if the gate time exceeds the free evolution decoherence time by one order of magnitude and for protected operations consisting of up to 330 individual control pulses.
©2012 American Physical Society
Image from “Iterative rotation scheme for robust dynamical decoupling.” [Gonzalo A. Álvarez, Alexandre M. Souza, and Dieter Suter, Phys. Rev. A 85, 052324 (2012)]