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Physical Review Letters


Department of Physics and Astronomy


We experimentally demonstrate the first inductive readout of optically hyperpolarized phosphorus-31 donor nuclear spins in an isotopically enriched silicon-28 crystal. The concentration of phosphorus donors in the crystal was 1.5×1015  cm−3, 3 orders of magnitude lower than has previously been detected via direct inductive detection. The signal-to-noise ratio measured in a single free induction decay from a 1  cm3 sample (≈1015 spins) was 113. By transferring the sample to an X-band ESR spectrometer, we were able to obtain a lower bound for the nuclear spin polarization at 1.7 K of ∼64%. The 31P-T2 measured with a Hahn echo sequence was 420 ms at 1.7 K, which was extended to 1.2 s with a Carr Purcell cycle. The T1 of the 31P nuclear spins at 1.7 K is extremely long and could not be determined, as no decay was observed even on a time scale of 4.5 h. Optical excitation was performed with a 1047 nm laser, which provided above-band-gap excitation of the silicon. The buildup of the hyperpolarization at 4.2 K followed a single exponential with a characteristic time of 577 s, while the buildup at 1.7 K showed biexponential behavior with characteristic time constants of 578 and 5670 s.