Key Features

The QZabre is an all-in-one scanning quantum sensor solution. Each QZabre consists of a ceramic carrier chip, a tuning fork distance sensor, and a high-quality diamond tip with a single embedded NV center. We assemble these elements in a few standard configurations and will do our best to implement alternate configuration requests.

Single Crystalline Diamond Quantum Probe

The QZabre is equipped with a high quality nanofabricated diamond tip formed by a series of lithography and etching steps. Single nitrogen vacancy centers are introduced at ~10 nm from the apex by shallow ion implantation. High quality single crystalline diamond is used as the starting material to enable long intrinsic dephasing and coherence times. The tip shape is optimized to enable high photon count rates of well above 100 kC/s.


Convenient AFM Distance Sensor

The QZabre integrates a force-feedback sensor based on a quartz tuning fork. The force feedback allows for a safe approach of the surface and a controlled navigation of the probe over the sample using a standard atomic force microscopy (AFM) controller. The QZabre is available in two basic configurations: the tuning fork can be operated in either tapping or shear mode. A proprietary chip assembly technique is used to minimize the tip standoff and serves to achieve NV-to-surface separations below 50 nm.


Plug-and-Play Carrier Chip

For easy handling, the diamond probe tip and tuning fork sensor are assembled on a robust ceramic holder. A minimal holder thickness ensures that the sensor can be mounted in microscopes where vertical space is tight. The holder chip has two patterned feed lines for actuating the tuning fork.

Below is a typical chip assembly used by customers and in some of our own microscopes. Other configurations can include:

  • Tuning fork mounted in tapping mode or shear mode
  • Tuning fork mounted on opposite (upper or lower) sides of chip
  • Operate chip at an angle
  • Akiyama probe holder footprint (
  • Personalized footprint of the holder

Complete scanning probe - micro

Orientations and Cantilever

We currently offer two cantilever designs in “Up” or “Down” configuration. The gold contact pads are on the topside in these example images.

Cantilever, Orientation “Down”

Cantilever, Orientation “Up”

Typical Specifications

Specifications are subject to change as we continue to improve our probes.

Diamond tip

Tip material Single crystal diamond, electronic grade
Tip end diameter 150-350 nm
Tip height 0.8-3 μm
Tip tilt <5°

NV Center

Number of NV centers
Orientation N-V axis at a 54.7° angle to surface normal
Photon counts >100 kC/s into a 0.7 NA objective
ODMR contrast 15-24 %
Approx. 10 nm
Dephasing time T2*
Approx. 1 μs
Decoherence time T2
A few μs to a few tens of μs

Distance sensor

Sensor Type Force feedback based on quartz tuning fork
Force feedback Shear or tapping mode
Sensor frequency Approx. 32 kHz
Tilt between chip and sensor surface Standard is 0°. Other tilt angles on request
Vertical clearance >0.5 mm for shear mode,
>1 mm for tapping mode1

1Contact us for improved clearance requests