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Novel Nanostructures--Silver-plated Diamond Posts (Image 1)

The optical table in the lab of Marko Loncar of Harvard University

The optical table in the lab of Marko Loncar of the Harvard University School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Loncar's research group has managed to control the rate of emission of photons from diamond nanoposts, an important advance toward quantum computing.

Building on earlier work, Loncar, an electrical engineer at the Laboratory for Nanoscale Optics at Harvard, along with his postdoctoral researcher and his students, developed a manufacturing process that allows them to create an assortment of miniature, silver-plated diamond posts that enable greater control of light-producing photons at the atomic scale. The research could be important for future generations of quantum computers.

Prior research demonstrated how nanowires carved in impurity-laden diamond crystal could efficiently emit individual photons, an important discovery for using light to rapidly read and write quantum-based data. But this recent research shows that novel nanostructures--silver-plated diamond posts--can also control the speed at which the process emits individual photons. The development supports efforts to create robust, room temperature quantum computers by setting the stage for diamond-based microchips. Additionally, the technology could support new tools capable of measuring magnetic fields at the nanometer scale. [Note: The microdiamond powder used in this research was provided by Daniel Twitchen and the Element Six Company in the UK.]

To learn more, see the NSF Press Release Diamonds, Silver and the Quest for Single Photons. [Research supported by National Science Foundation grant ECCS 0708905.] (Date of Image: October 2011) [See related image Here.]

Credit: Eliza Grinnell, Harvard SEAS

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