The generation and control of fast switchable magnetic fields with large gradients on the nanoscale is of fundamental interest in material science and for a wide range of applications. However, it has not yet been possible to characterize those fields at high bandwidth with arbitrary orientations. Here, we measure the magnetic field generated by a hard-disk-drive write head with high spatial resolution and large bandwidth by coherent control of single electron and nuclear spins. We are able to derive field profiles from coherent spin Rabi oscillations close to the gigahertz range, measure magnetic field gradients on the order of 1 mT nm–1 and quantify axial and radial components of a static and dynamic magnetic field independent of its orientation. Our method paves the way for precision measurement of the magnetic fields of nanoscale write heads, which is important for future miniaturization of these devices.
At a glance
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