A quantum spin-probe molecular microscope
AuthorPerunicic, VS; Hill, CD; Hall, LT; Hollenberg, LCL
Source TitleNature Communications
PublisherNATURE PUBLISHING GROUP
AffiliationSchool of Physics
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsPerunicic, V. S., Hill, C. D., Hall, L. T. & Hollenberg, L. C. L. (2016). A quantum spin-probe molecular microscope. NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 7 (1), https://doi.org/10.1038/ncomms12667.
Access StatusOpen Access
ARC Grant codeARC/FL130100119
Imaging the atomic structure of a single biomolecule is an important challenge in the physical biosciences. Whilst existing techniques all rely on averaging over large ensembles of molecules, the single-molecule realm remains unsolved. Here we present a protocol for 3D magnetic resonance imaging of a single molecule using a quantum spin probe acting simultaneously as the magnetic resonance sensor and source of magnetic field gradient. Signals corresponding to specific regions of the molecule's nuclear spin density are encoded on the quantum state of the probe, which is used to produce a 3D image of the molecular structure. Quantum simulations of the protocol applied to the rapamycin molecule (C51H79NO13) show that the hydrogen and carbon substructure can be imaged at the angstrom level using current spin-probe technology. With prospects for scaling to large molecules and/or fast dynamic conformation mapping using spin labels, this method provides a realistic pathway for single-molecule microscopy.
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