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Nanoscale Force-Detected Magnetic Resonance
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has had a profound impact on biology and medicine. Key to its success has been the unique ability to combine imaging with nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy—a capability that has led to a host of powerful modalities for imaging. Although it remains a significant challenge, there is considerable interest to extend these powerful spectroscopic and imaging capabilities to the nanometer scale. In this talk, I will discuss a new paradigm for nanoscale MRI, which permits well-established pulsed magnetic resonance techniques to be applied to the nanometer scale. Our approach relies on the ability to generate intense time-dependent magnetic fields on the nanometer scale, and to encode phase information in the statistical fluctuations of an ensemble of spins. In our first proof-of-concept work, we demonstrated Fourier transform imaging of proton spins in polystyrene with 10-nm spatial resolution. I will discuss how this technique could be used image the smallest constituents in biology, such as single virus particles, or even single molecules.