Magnetization in rock samples is crucial for paleomagnetometry research, as it harbors valuable geological information on long term processes, such as tectonic movements and the formation of oceans and continents. Nevertheless, current techniques are limited in their ability to measure high spatial resolution and high-sensitivity quantitative vectorial magnetic signatures from individual minerals and micrometer scale samples. As a result, our understanding of bulk rock magnetization is limited, specifically for the case of multi-domain minerals. In this work, we use a newly developed nitrogen-vacancy magnetic microscope, capable of quantitative vectorial magnetic imaging with optical resolution. We demonstrate direct imaging of the vectorial magnetic field of a single, multi-domain dendritic magnetite, as well as the measurement and calculation of the weak magnetic moments of an individual grain on the micron scale. These results pave the way for future applications in paleomagnetometry and for the fundamental understanding of magnetization in multi-domain samples.
Optically detected magnetic resonance using nitrogen-vacancy (NV) colour centres in diamond is a leading modality for nanoscale magnetic field imaging, as it provides single electron spin sensitivity, three-dimensional resolution better than 1 nm (ref. 5) and applicability to a wide range of physical and biological samples under ambient conditions. To date, however, NV-diamond magnetic imaging has been performed using 'real-space' techniques, which are either limited by optical diffraction to ∼250 nm resolution or require slow, point-by-point scanning for nanoscale resolution, for example, using an atomic force microscope, magnetic tip, or super-resolution optical imaging. Here, we introduce an alternative technique of Fourier magnetic imaging using NV-diamond. In analogy with conventional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we employ pulsed magnetic field gradients to phase-encode spatial information on NV electronic spins in wavenumber or 'k-space' followed by a fast Fourier transform to yield real-space images with nanoscale resolution, wide field of view and compressed sensing speed-up.