Nano Superconducting Quantum Interference device: A powerful tool for nanoscale investigations
The magnetic sensing at nanoscale level is a promising and interesting research topic of nanoscience. Indeed, magnetic imaging is a powerful tool for probing biological, chemical and physical systems. The study of small spin cluster, like magnetic molecules and nanoparticles, single electron, cold atom clouds, is one of the most stimulating challenges of applied and basic research of the next years. In particular, the magnetic nanoparticle investigation plays a fundamental role for the modern
... terial science and its relative technological applications like ferrofluids, magnetic refrigeration and biomedical applications, including drug delivery, hyper-thermia cancer treatment and magnetic resonance imaging contrast-agent. In this framework, several efforts have been devoted to the development of a high sensitivity magnetic nanosensor pushing sensing capability to the individual spin level. Among the different magnetic sensors, Superconducting QUantum Interference Devices (SQUIDs) exhibit an ultra high sensitivity and are widely employed in numerous applications. In the recent years, it has been proved that the magnetic response of nano-objects can be effectively measured by using a SQUID with a very small sensitive area (nanoSQUID). In fact, the sensor noise, expressed in terms of the elementary magnetic moment (spin or Bohr magneton), is linearly dependent on the SQUID loop side length. For this reason, SQUIDs have been progressively miniaturized in order to improve the sensitivity up to few spin per unit of bandwidth. With respect to other techniques, nanoSQUIDs offer the advantage of direct measurement of magnetization changes in small spin systems. In this review, we focus on nanoSQUIDs and its applications. In particular, we will discuss the motivations, the theoretical aspects, the fabrication techniques, the different nanoSQUIDs and the relative nanoscale applications.