2023 – Ashok Ajoy

Professor Ashok Ajoy from the University of California, Berkeley is awarded the Abragam Prize 2023 for pioneering the development of new magnetic resonance methods based on quantum technologies for nanoscale MRI, quantum sensing and optical hyperpolarization-based NMR, enabled by nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond. His contributions include the invention of a field-cycling scheme for preparing diamond powder with complete 13C polarization at room temperature, and the realization of a portable device for the delivery of hyperpolarized diamond powders on demand. In addition, Ashok has performed dual-mode fluorescence and MRI imaging of diamond nanoparticles, and has shown that it is possible to maintain long-lived 13C transverse magnetization in optically polarized diamond for over 1 minute at room temperature. Apart from the enhancement in sensitivity and resolution of established NMR and MRI methods, his work is driving new application areas for magnetic resonance, such as quantum and nanoscale sensing.