ASTRID-Maturation_2022_session 2 - Accompagnement spécifique des travaux de recherches et d'innovation Défense : Maturation et Valorisation

Compact and wide instantaneous bandwidth spectrum analyzer exploiting Nitrogen Vacancy centers – SPECTRAL

Submission summary

The SPECTRAL project relies on the quantum properties of an ensemble of NV centers in diamond at room temperature to perform spectral analysis of a microwave signal in a quantitative and instantaneous broadband manner using a compact, instantaneous broadband device.
The central objective of the SPECTRAL proposal is to continue the TRL increase up to TRL5 of the spectral analysis device using the optical modality for reading the NV center spin states developed in the framework of the ASTRID ASPEN project while starting to integrate the electrical reading modality, which is less technologically mature than the optical modality.
The SPECTRAL proposal is based on the exploitation of both photophysical and spin quantum properties of the diamond NV center, a point defect consisting of both a nitrogen (N) atom substituted to a carbon atom and associated with a carbon vacancy (V) located on an adjacent site. This defect has spin transitions in the microwave domain that can be detected under optical excitation in the green, at the wavelength of 532 nm, and at room temperature by means of optical modalities, by measuring the changes in photoluminescence, or electrically, by measuring the changes in photoconductivity induced by the modification of its spin state. The transition frequencies of these magnetic resonances can be controlled by applying a static magnetic field to the NV center giving rise to two peaks whose frequency separation is directly proportional to the projection of the magnetic field along the nitrogen-vacancy intrinsic spin quantification axis of the defect.
The use of NV centers for the spectral analysis of microwave signals is based on the spatial encoding by means of a magnetic field gradient of the resonance frequency of an ensemble of NV centers contained in a diamond crystal and illuminated by a laser beam so as to transpose the instantaneous spectral content of a microwave signal of interest on the local level of photoluminescence and/or photoconductivity. The complete frequency spectrum of a complex signal can thus be reconstructed from the image of the spatial distribution of the photoluminescence signal emitted by the NV centers and, in a dual way, from the measurement of the photoconductivity profile along the laser beam path with a probability of interception close to 100% over a wide instantaneous band of a a few GHz.
The SPECTRAL project consortium involves the three initial ASPEN partners (Thales Research & Technology (TRT), an industrial research laboratory and two academic partners, the Lumière, Matière et Interfaces Laboratory (LuMIn) and the Sciences des Procédés et des Matériaux Laboratory), supplemented by the participation of a SME, Diam Concept (DC), whose field of activity mainly concerns the elaboration of synthetic diamonds for the jewelry industry.
At the end of the SPECTRAL project, we will have realized a spectral analysis device with a volume of a few liters, a reconfigurable instantaneous analysis frequency band that can go up to several GHz, a frequency resolution close to the MHz and an ability to exploit in a dual way an optical (ODMR) and electrical (PDMR) detection modality on a number of channels between 5 and 10 by means of graphite electrodes so as to compare the performances and the contribution of the various modalities for the application of instantaneous broadband spectral analysis. This extremely compact TRL5 radio frequency spectral analysis device will be able to address multiple civil (5G, EMC) or military (electromagnetic landscape surveillance) issues.
On the other hand, the work carried out on the material aspects will contribute to developing, structuring and strengthening an entirely French sector for the production of a diamond material designed for quantum technologies.

Project coordination

Ludovic Mayer (Thales Research & Technolology)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LUMIN Laboratoire Lumière-Matière aux Interfaces
TRT Thales Research & Technolology
LSPM Laboratoire des Sciences des Procédés et des Matériaux

Help of the ANR 499,467 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2022 - 36 Months

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