Sensors have been developed under the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) project DIADEMS that are capable of measuring magnetic fields with unprecedented accuracy. These could be applied to have better magneto resonance imaging (MRI). The technology developed in the project has triggered the creation of four start-ups.

Logo of the DIADEMS project

The DIADEMS project aimed at exploiting the unique physical properties of Nitrogen-vacancy (NV) colour centres in ultrapure diamond. The NV colour centre in diamond is an important physical system for emergent quantum technologies, including quantum metrology. NV colour centres are solid-state atom-like structures with spin-dependent optical transitions. This makes them ideal candidates to build high-sensitivity atomic-scale magnetometers.The idea is to use these NV centers to develop innovative devices with unprecedented performances for ICT applications

Their concrete objecives were to delevop very high sensitivity magnetic imagers, scanning probe magnetometer and sensor heads; these could be applied to a large number of applications like monitoring electronic circuits, read/write heads for high density hard disks to increase their capacity, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) boasting higher sensitivity, lower cost and a reduced magnetic field in MRI machines, new photonic devices increasing the detection efficiency,  a spectrum analyser for the GHz range and the characterisation of domains in antiferromagnetic materials.

The work undertaken in the DIADEMS project has given rise to four start-up companies.

The DIADEMS consortium has also plans for the future, like develoing applications to sense temperature within a cell, monitor new states of matter under high pressure and sense electric fields with ultimate sensitivity. It could create new measurement tools to see the chemical structure of single molecules by NMR for the pharmaceutical industry.


DIADEMS  is part of the Future and Emerging Technologies (FET) programme and falls within the scope of the EU Electronics and Quantum Technologies policies.

More information

More information on this project is available on CORDIS :

See also the blog post of Thierry Debuisschert, scientific coordiantor of DIADEMS - The surprising properties of diamonds: quantum technology research