Nitrogen-Vacancy points in Diamonds could be used to construct Vital Components for Quantum Computers

Nitrogen-Vacancy points in Diamonds could be used to construct Vital Components for Quantum Computers

There is a possibility that nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamonds could be utilized to construct essential components for quantum computers. But, so far, it has been unfeasible to read optically written information from such systems electronically.

With the help of a graphene layer, a team of scientists headed by Professor Alexander Holleitner of the Technische Universität München has now applied just such a read unit. The most researched faults are nitrogen-vacancy centers, including a nitrogen atom and a vacancy.

There are possibilities that these might work as highly sensitive sensors or as register components for quantum computers. But, so far, it has not been feasible to take out the optically stored information electronically.

The team has designed such a methodology to read the stored information.

The technique makes on a direct transfer of energy from nitrogen-vacancy centers in nanodiamonds to a directly neighboring graphene layer. An electron has been raised by a light photon from its initial state to an excited state in the nitrogen-vacancy center when laser light shines on a nanodiamond.

"The system of the excited electron and the vacated ground state can be viewed as a dipole. This dipole, in turn, induces another dipole comprising an electron and a vacancy in the neighboring graphene layer", said Professor Alexander Holleitner.

In comparison to about 100 nanometer big diamonds, in which individual nitrogen-vacancy centers are insulated from each other, the graphene layer is electrically performing. The induced charge is detected by two gold electrodes. Important for this experimental setup is that the measurement is made very rapidly because the generated electron-vacancy pairs vanish after just a few billionths of a second.

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