(AsianScientist) Researchers in South Korea and the US have performed the world’s smallest magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)—on a single atom. To do this, the team used a scanning tunneling microscope, which consists of an atomically sharp metal tip that allows for the imaging and probing of single atoms when the tip is moved across a surface.
The research team wants to use this kind of MRI to characterize and control quantum systems. These are of great interest for quantum computing. “I am very excited about these results. It is certainly a milestone in our field and has very promising implications for future research,” aaid Professor Andreas Heinrich, director of the Centre for Quantum Nanoscience at IBS. “The ability to map spins and their magnetic field with previously unimaginable precision allows us to gain deeper knowledge about the structure of matter and opens new fields of basic research.”