Diamond based nanoparticle could act as room temperature qubit

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A quick and inexpensive way to build diamond based hybrid nanoparticles has been announced by a team from the University of Maryland, which claims the method overcomes many of the problems associated with current approaches. The team also suggests it has discovered evidence that a nitrogen vacancy could behave as a qubit at room temperature.

The process is based on nanoscale diamonds containing a nitrogen atom where a carbon atom should be, with an empty space next to it due to another missing carbon atom. This ‘nitrogen vacancy’ impurity is said to impart special optical and electromagnetic properties.

By attaching other materials to the diamond grains, the researchers say that hybrid nanoparticles can be created, including nanoscale semiconductors and magnets with precisely tailored properties.

“If you pair one of these diamonds with silver or gold nanoparticles, the metal can enhance the nanodiamond’s optical properties,” said researcher Min Ouyang. “If you couple the nanodiamond to a semiconducting quantum dot, the hybrid particle can transfer energy more efficiently.”

“A major strength of our technique is that it is broadly useful and can be applied to a variety of diamond types and paired with a variety of other nanomaterials,” Ouyang explained. “It can also be scaled fairly easily. We are interested in studying the basic physics further, but also moving toward specific applications. The potential for room temperature quantum entanglement is particularly exciting and important.”