Physics

Activating Quantum Implants

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Science  21 May 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5981, pp. 955
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5981.955-c

Diamonds typically contain many impurities and defects, which affect their sparkle and color. One such defect, the negatively charged nitrogen vacancy (NV) center, is effectively an isolated single spin. Clever manipulation of such single-spin NV centers provides a means for the individual spins to communicate with each other quantum-mechanically, as well as act as a memory wherein bits of quantum information can be stored and retrieved. Instead of using naturally occurring NV centers, applications will require a designed array of artificially implanted defects. However, not all NV centers are active. Overcoming this limitation, Naydenov et al. describe a route whereby a two-step process involving the implantation of nitrogen followed by implantation of carbon atoms increases the generation efficiency of prepared, optically active NV centers by 50%. This technique should prove useful for fabricating larger-area quantum chips on which arrays of NV centers are envisaged.

Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 163108 (2010).

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