Imaging Spin-Wave Damping Underneath Metals Using Electron Spins in Diamond

Iacopo Bertelli, Brecht G. Simon, Tao Yu, Jan Aarts, Gerrit E.W. Bauer, Yaroslav M. Blanter, Toeno van der Sar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Spin waves in magnetic insulators are low-damping signal carriers that can enable a new generation of spintronic devices. The excitation, control, and detection of spin waves by metal electrodes is crucial for interfacing these devices to electrical circuits. As such, it is important to understand metal-induced damping of spin-wave transport, but characterizing this process requires access to the underlying magnetic films. Here it is shown that electronic sensor spins in diamond enable imaging of spin waves that propagate underneath metals in magnetic insulators. This capability is then used to reveal a 100-fold metal-induced increase in spin-wave damping. The damping enhancement is attributed to spin-wave-induced electrical currents as well as, above a certain frequency, three-magnon scattering processes. This interpretation is supported by deriving expressions for the current-induced damping and the three-magnon threshold from the Landau–Lifshitz–Gilbert equation that agree well with the observations. The detection of buried scattering centers further highlights the technique's power for assessing spintronic device quality. These results open new avenues for studying metal – spin-wave interactions and provide access to interfacial processes such as spin-wave injection via the spin-Hall effect.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2100094
JournalAdvanced Quantum Technologies
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec


  • NV centers
  • diamond
  • magnetic imaging
  • magnetic insulators
  • quantum sensing
  • spin waves
  • spintronics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Mathematical Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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