Biocompatible surface functionalization architecture for a diamond quantum sensor

Mouzhe Xie, Xiaofei Yu, Lila V.H. Rodgers, Daohong Xu, Ignacio Chi-Durán, Adrien Toros, Niels Quack, Nathalie P. de Leon, Peter C. Maurer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Quantum metrology enables some of the most precise measurements. In the life sciences, diamond-based quantum sensing has led to a new class of biophysical sensors and diagnostic devices that are being investigated as a platform for cancer screening and ultrasensitive immunoassays. However, a broader application in the life sciences based on nanoscale NMR spectroscopy has been hampered by the need to interface highly sensitive quantum bit (qubit) sensors with their biological targets. Here, we demonstrate an approach that combines quantum engineering with single-molecule biophysics to immobilize individual proteins and DNA molecules on the surface of a bulk diamond crystal that hosts coherent nitrogen vacancy qubit sensors. Our thin (sub-5 nm) functionalization architecture provides precise control over the biomolecule adsorption density and results in near-surface qubit coherence approaching 100 μs. The developed architecture remains chemically stable under physiological conditions for over 5 d, making our technique compatible with most biophysical and biomedical applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2114186119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number8
StatePublished - Feb 22 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


  • NV center
  • biocompatible functionalization
  • diamond surface modification
  • quantum sensing


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