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Digging Deep Into Diamonds

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diamond-based nanowire device

Researchers found that a nanostructure embedded within a diamond nanowire improved the performance of a single photon source based on a light-emitting defect in a diamond. Large device arrays improve the likelihood of realizing quantum networks and system

Credit: Jay Penni / Harvard University

Harvard University researchers have created diamond-based nanowire devices that offer a bright, stable source of single photons at room temperature, which is an essential element for the development of practical light-based computing.

The researchers found that the performance of a single photon source based on a light-emitting defect (color center) in a diamond could be improved by embedding the defect with a diamond nanowire. The color center communicates by emitting and absorbing photons. The flow of photons to and from the color center provides a means to carry data.

However, gathering photons efficiently is difficult because the color center is embedded deep within the diamond. "What was missing was an interface that connects the nanoworld of a color center with the macroworld of optical fibers and lenses," says Harvard professor Marko Loncar. The diamond nanowire device provides a natural and efficient interface that makes a color center brighter and more sensitive. The resulting enhanced optical properties increase photon collection by nearly a factor of 10 relative to natural diamond devices.

From Harvard University Gazette
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Abstracts Copyright © 2010 Information Inc., Bethesda, Maryland, USA


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