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Diamonds, silver and the quest for single photons
Date:10/18/2011

hor Jennifer Choy of Lončar's laboratory. "Certain color centers, including the nitrogen-vacancy center used in this work, are quantum emitters that release single photons, which are coupled to electronic (and nuclear) spin states and can be used to encode, store, communicate, and finally read-out information. Single photon emission in such systems is generally robust even at room temperature, which makes diamond-based devices enticing for the creation of an on-chip quantum network."

By studying both bare and coated diamond, the researchers recorded variations in photon emission that appear to be dependent upon not just the material coating, but also the size of each post. The resulting data suggest how various configurations could yield emitters tuned for specific purposes, such as high-speed computing, advanced imaging and secure communications.

The emitters in the new devices are implanted close to the diamond surface and possess electron spins with orientations that affect the fluorescence intensity of the emitter. Because the electron spins are sensitive to the ambient electromagnetic field environment, they have potential as sensitive, magnetic-field sensors, allowing researchers to collect information by monitoring the photon count rate.

"Demonstrating control over the rate at which photons are released is a challenging and important step towards utilizing these color centers in quantum information processing protocols, since it allows for information to be encoded and read-out more efficiently," adds Choy. "The diamond-silver device leads to rate enhancements in many emitters over the entire diamond chip in parallel and provides an efficient way to manipulate photon production rates on a large scale."

While much research remains before diamond can yield devices such as quantum computer chips or nanometer-scale magnetometers, the recent study provides engineers and scientists with a clearer understanding of fund
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Contact: Josh Chamot
jchamot@nsf.gov
703-292-7730
National Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert  

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