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Optically detected magnetic resonance with an open source platform

by Hossein Babashah, Hoda Shirzad, Elena Losero, Valentin Goblot, Christophe Galland, Mayeul Chipaux

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Submission summary

Authors (as registered SciPost users): Mayeul Chipaux
Submission information
Preprint Link: scipost_202307_00017v1  (pdf)
Code repository:
Date accepted: 2023-09-12
Date submitted: 2023-07-11 10:41
Submitted by: Chipaux, Mayeul
Submitted to: SciPost Physics Core
Ontological classification
Academic field: Physics
  • Atomic, Molecular and Optical Physics - Experiment
  • Condensed Matter Physics - Experiment
  • Quantum Physics
Approach: Experimental


Localized electronic spins in solid-state environments form versatile and robust platforms for quantum sensing, metrology and quantum information processing. With optically detected magnetic resonance (ODMR), it is possible to prepare and readout highly coherent spin systems, up to room temperature, with orders of magnitude enhanced sensitivities and spatial resolutions compared to induction-based techniques, allowing single spin manipulation. While ODMR was first observed in organic molecules, many other systems have since then been identified. Among them is the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond, which is used both as a nanoscale quantum sensor for external fields and as a spin qubit. Other systems permitting ODMR are rare earth ions used as quantum memories and many other color centers trapped in bulk or 2-dimensional host materials. In order to allow the broadest possible community of researchers and engineers to investigate and develop novel ODMR-based materials and applications, we review here the setting up of ODMR experiments using commercially available hardware. We also present in detail a dedicated collaborative open-source interface named Qudi and describe new added features that can speed-up data acquisition, relax instrument requirements and extend its applicability to ensemble measurements. Covering both hardware and software development, this article aims to steepen the learning curve of newcomers in ODMR from a variety of scientific backgrounds, optimize the experimental development time, preempt the common measurement pitfalls, and provide an efficient, portable and collaborative interface to implement innovative experiments.

Author comments upon resubmission

Dear reviewer and editor,

thank you very much for the time you dedicated to our manuscript. Based on your comments, we believe that we could improve the quality of the article significantly. Please find bellow the details of the changes we made to address them with a summary here.

1) About the reviewer comments: we uptated the Fig. 1 to make all the arrows visible and, in Table 2, extended the costs range of the light sources and changed the wrong Asterix into un underline.

2) The article is indeed based on the work of two PhD students (the two first authors) whose thesis are either ongoing or completed. We adapted the text to better fit the needs for a scientific article. In particular: - We reduced and rephased the Sec. 4A by removing the subparagraphs's names and shortened the "added features". Instead we added the references to Dr. Babashah's thesis and website. - We significantly shortened the Sec. IV.C and renamed it to "Utilization". In particular, we removed the "tutorial" part on "installing and configuring" Qudit. (Thesis of Ms. Shirzad not completed yet). - We modified the abstract, the main introduction and conclusion as well as the ones of section IV to maintain the overall coherence. - We also overview the rest of the article to that extend and performed a proof-read to improve the style.

best regards, Dr. Chipaux on behalf of the authors.

List of changes

We either describe the changes and/or quote our text with "" highlighting the changed or added parts within parenthesis and the part removed with (---).

1. Introduction: We started the introduction on a new page (only two lines appeared on page 1).
2. Abstract: "[...] allowing (for) single spin manipulation(s)".
3. Abstract: "We also present in detail (the) dedicated collaborative open-source interface named Qudi and describe (the) features (we added to) speed-up data acquisition, relax instrument requirements and extend its applicability to ensemble measurements."
4. Introduction: "The (object) of this article (is) twofold: (i) to describe a typical ODMR setup, from its conception and construction to the optimization of specific measurements and (ii) to present( in details) the ODMR-dedicated open source platform Qudi^19 with the features we developed) for speeding-up acquisitions, relaxing instrumental requirements, widening its applications and lowering entry barrier(s)."
5. Introduction: "(The section) IV is dedicated to the open source platform Qudi, first release in 2017 ^19, (and upgraded by us for efficient and versatile ODMR experiment operations)."
6. Fig. 1: We made all the arrow visible.
7. Sec. II introduction : "(We review here) the instrumental requirements for ODMR measurements"
8. Table II: We underlined "Light sources" as it is a minimum necessary equipment (see caption)
9. Table II: We extended the price range for the light sources from ~300 to 7k
10. Sec. IV introduction: "(Here, we introduce Qudi), an open-source Python code dedicated to ODMR measurements. (---)."
11. Sec. IV introduction: "(We first present Qudi's original features and the ones we added) to improve its performance and extend its applicability. (We then detail Qudi's architecture and presents how to configure and use it.) (---)
[...] (For those) not already merged within the official Github, (the) added features can be found on our Github page forked from it ^134.
12. Sec. IV A. "(Qudi^19,130,132, initially released in 2017, integrates modules for performing ODMR experiments, instrument control, and real-time data acquisition and processing. It enables fast imaging by scanning the beam position while collecting luminescence. Qudi can locate ODMR emitters and track them during acquisition, compensating for sample drift. It is particularly useful for studying nanoparticles in liquid suspensions ^133,134.)"
13. Sec. IV A. We suppressed the paragraph's titles "Original Features" and "Added Features" reduced and and rephrased the entire paragraphe.
14. Sec. IV B. "[...]. Paragraphe suppressed: (---Importantly, the setting of those modules and the links between them is to be defined in a configuration file(...) (See Sec. IV C)---).
15. Former Fig. 10 was removed
16. The Fig. 10 (formerly 11) "Block diagrams" has been moved up to Sec. IV B 1
17. Sec. IV C was renamed to "Utilization" and significantly reduced. References to Dr. Babasha Thesis and website were added instead.
18. Conclusion: "(In this article, we present the settings of an experimental breadboard for ODMR experiments with both commercially available instruments and an open-source interface. In particular, we show that) [...] (and address both) individual optically-active spin-systems (and) large ensembles."

Published as SciPost Phys. Core 6, 065 (2023)

Reports on this Submission

Anonymous Report 1 on 2023-8-10 (Invited Report)


I recommend this article for publication. It is a good overview of what it is possible to do with Qudi to probe spin properties of quantum emitters, especially NV centers. It points to all the neessary online ressource to start with Qudi which made it a valuable ressource for researchers.

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