Mechanical & Materials Engineering, Department of


Date of this Version



2013 Macmillan Publishers Limited.


4:1651 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms2685 |


Spin complexes comprising the nitrogen-vacancy centre and neighbouring spins are being considered as a building block for a new generation of spintronic and quantum information processing devices. As assembling identical spin clusters is difficult, new strategies are being developed to determine individual node structures with the highest precision. Here we use a pulse protocol to monitor the time evolution of the 13C ensemble in the vicinity of a nitrogenvacancy centre. We observe long-lived time correlations in the nuclear spin dynamics, limited by nitrogen-vacancy spin–lattice relaxation. We use the host 14N spin as a quantum register and demonstrate that hyperfine-shifted resonances can be separated upon proper nitrogenvacancy initialization. Intriguingly, we find that the amplitude of the correlation signal exhibits a sharp dependence on the applied magnetic field.We discuss this observation in the context of the quantum-to-classical transition proposed recently to explain the field dependence of the spin cluster dynamics.