Volume 1 Issue 2, November 2005

Volume 1 Issue 2

Diamond could be the perfect host for a qubit.

To see a diamond, don't go to a jewellery shop — head for a spintronics or quantum-computation laboratory instead. The spin associated with a nitrogen vacancy centre — an impurity sitting at a vacancy site in the diamond lattice — has a long lifetime and is therefore promising for applications in quantum information processing. Ryan Epstein and colleagues have constructed a room-temperature microscope that is sensitive to the light emitted by a single nitrogen vacancy centre. Moreover, by precisely controlling the magnetic field, they can detect the presence of nearby non-luminescent nitrogen atoms that couple to the nitrogen vacancy centres. These 'dark' spins have an even longer lifetime than the bright spins.

Image courtesy of Russell J. Hemley, Carnegie Institution of Washington.

Letter by Epstein et al. | News and Views by Kennedy



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