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Diamond Defect May Lead to a Qubit Computer


A scanning electron microscope image of the diamond photonic cavity.

A scanning electron microscope image of the diamond photonic cavity shows the nanoscale holes etched through the layer containing NV centers.

Credit: Evelyn Hu/Harvard

A research group led by Harvard University's Evelyn Hu is looking to exploit a special kind of diamond defect in a project that could benefit those working to design a quantum computer.

Nitrogen vacancy (NV) centers consist of a nitrogen atom and a vacant site, which together replace two adjacent carbon atoms in diamond crystal. The defects can record or store quantum information and transmit it in the form of light, but the research team reports it has effectively intensified the emission from the NV centers, making it easier to identity, extract, and transmit the signal.

The researchers used a technique called delta doping to control the depth of the diamond defects and achieve very precise positioning within a structure known as a photonic cavity. The team was able to boost the intensity of light emitted by the NV centers by a factor of about 30 times. They think they can further augment the emission by controlling the position of the defects in the horizontal plane and are currently working on possible ways to achieve full three-dimensional control.

NV centers with signals enhanced by photonic cavities could act as qubits, the key units of quantum information in a quantum computer.

From Science Codex
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