Guoqing Wang (王国庆), Yi-Xiang Liu (刘仪襄), Jennifer M. Schloss, Scott T. Alsid, Danielle A. Braje, and Paola Cappellaro

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.12.021061


Quantum sensors such as spin defects in diamond have achieved excellent performance by combining high sensitivity with spatial resolution. Unfortunately, these sensors can only detect signal fields with frequency in a few accessible ranges, typically low frequencies up to the experimentally achievable control field amplitudes and a narrow window around the sensors’ resonance frequency. Here, we develop and demonstrate a technique for sensing arbitrary-frequency signals by using the sensor qubit as a quantum frequency mixer, enabling a variety of sensing applications. The technique leverages nonlinear effects in periodically driven (Floquet) quantum systems to achieve quantum frequency mixing of the signal and an applied bias ac field. The frequency-mixed field can be detected using well-developed sensing techniques such as Rabi and CPMG with the only additional requirement of the bias field. We further show that the frequency mixing can distinguish vectorial components of an oscillating signal field, thus enabling arbitrary-frequency vector magnetometry. We experimentally demonstrate this protocol with nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond to sense a 150-MHz signal field, proving the versatility of the quantum mixer sensing technique.