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Dynamic Nuclear Spin Polarization of Liquids and Gases in Contact with Nanostructured Diamond

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journal contribution
posted on 14.05.2014, 00:00 by Daniel Abrams, Matthew E. Trusheim, Dirk R. Englund, Mark D. Shattuck, Carlos A. Meriles
Optical pumping of spin polarization can produce almost complete spin order but its application is restricted to select atomic gases and condensed matter systems. Here, we theoretically investigate a novel route to nuclear spin hyperpolarization in arbitrary fluids in which target molecules are exposed to polarized paramagnetic centers located near the surface of a host material. We find that adsorbed nuclear spins relax to positive or negative polarization depending on the average paramagnetic center depth and nanoscale surface topology. For the particular case of optically pumped nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond, we calculate strong nuclear spin polarization at moderate magnetic fields provided the crystal surface is engineered with surface roughness in the few-nanometer range. The equilibrium nuclear spin temperature depends only weakly on the correlation time describing the molecular adsorption dynamics and is robust in the presence of other, unpolarized paramagnetic centers. These features could be exploited to polarize flowing liquids or gases, as we illustrate numerically for the model case of a fluid brought in contact with an optically pumped diamond nanostructure.