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Diamond defect interior design
Date:8/5/2014

rew a layer of nitrogen-doped crystal within a diamond film. The researchers kept the nitrogen layer extremely thin by reducing the growth rate of the film to approximately 8 nanometers/hour. The nanometer-scale nitrogen-doped layer constrains the possible location of the NV centers in the depth direction.

Secondly, the researchers created a mask to cover the film, leaving only pinprick holes. They blasted carbon ions through the holes to create vacancies and heated the diamond to make the vacancies mobile within the crystal. NV centers could form in the nitrogen-doped layer below where the holes were placed.

Using this approach the team successfully localized NV centers within a cavity approximately 180 nanometers across -- a volume small enough to be compatible with many diamond-based nanostructures used in sensing devices and experimental quantum information systems.

The localized NV centers could also hold a specific spin for longer than 300 microseconds. This so-called spin coherence time was an order of magnitude better than that achieved by other 3-D localization methods. The longer spin lifetime means the NV centers can detect smaller magnetic signals and hold quantum information for longer.

One of the team's goals for using their new technique is to measure the nuclear spins of hydrogen atoms one of the tiniest magnetic signals within a biological molecule. The research could reveal new insights into how important biological functions like photosynthesis work. "Our research impacts diverse fields of science and technology," Awschalom said. "Technological advancements always open new avenues of scientific research."


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Contact: Jason Socrates Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
240-535-4954
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert  

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