Microfluidics Quantum Diamond Sensor

The field of microfluidics has witnessed rapid growth in the recent years, and it is now ubiquitous in areas as diverse as biology, medicine, and chemistry. Today, microfluids are a paramount resource in blood testing, printing, and fuel cells, to cite but a few. The ability to estimate the main microfluid properties is crucial for the drug industry and in medicine where, for example, detection of free radicals in biological samples is critical to understanding processes such as the immune response.

The most widespread platform, which has contributed to the greatest extent to the development of microfluidics is the Lab on a Chip approach to chemical and biological analysis. Since chips contain microfluid channels and integrated analysis tools, it is vital to have precise control over the physics of fluids in these microchannels. However, accumulating evidence has shown that the flow in these channels does not always obey macroscopic fluid laws, such as the no-slip boundary condition usually taken for granted when characterizing fluid properties. Though there have been advances in microscopic theory,
a technology to accurately measure velocity has not yet been developed.

This Mf-QDS presents a radically different approach to the measurement of velocity and diffusion properties in microfluid channels. Based on shallow Nitrogen Vacancy (NV) centers implanted in a diamond matrix positioned sufficiently close to the flowing liquid, we will use nano-NMR techniques to detect
the statistical field produced by the nuclei in the vicinity of the NV. As the molecules flow through the channel, the magnetic noise induced in the NV fluctuates. Tracking these fluctuations as changes in the NV state will provide an unprecedented level of accuracy in terms of the velocity flow profile of
the microfluid and its temperature, while making it possible to differentiate between several component species. None of these parameters can be achieved with current classical methods although they are vital for the next generation of microfluid devices. We will design and implement an integrated tool containing the diamond with the NVs and microfluid channels that can be exported to any microfluidic device, and provides a state-of-the-art resolution capacity.

Call year

Call 2021

Call topic

Quantum Phenomena and Resources

Area of research

Quantum metrology sensing and imaging

Start date

July 2022


36 months

Funding support

€ 845 608

Project status

In Progress
The nuclear spins, depicted by red arrows, which are randomly oriented, generate a random magnetic field on an ensemble of NV centers, represented by blue arrows, which are located a few nanometers under the surface of the diamond.


  • Coordinator: Javier Prior (Universidad de Murcia, ES)
  • Fedor Jelezko (University of Ulm, DE)
  • Alex Retzker (The Hebrew University Jerusalem, IL)
  • Adam Wojciechowski (Jagiellonian University, PL)