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Nuclear magnetic resonance force microscopy at millikelvin temperatures

Promotor: T.H. Oosterkamp

A.M.J. den Haan
09 maart 2016
Thesis in Leiden Repository

Nuclear magnetic resonance force microscopy (MRFM) is a technique which combines magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with scanning probe microscopy (SPM). The final goal is to develop this technique to such a level that the atomic structure of a virus or protein can be revealed by this microscope. This thesis shows nuclear magnetic resonance force measurements on copper in which the interaction of the magnetic moments of the nuclei of copper with a magnetic cantilever has delivered a detectable signal at a temperature of 50 millikelvin. Furthermore, we show measurements, which support a new theory where at low magnetic field and low temperature, non contact friction between the magnetic cantilever and paramagnetic electron spins is described. These measurements were enabled by technical improvements such as vibration reduction in a cryogen free dilution refrigerator. As a benchmark for the low vibration, we show atomic resolution scanning tunneling microscopy at 15 millikelvin temperature on graphite. We also show a method to create small magnets for MRFM from a thin magnet film. With these small magnets the field gradient and therefore the sensitivity may be significantly enhanced.

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