Optoelectronics

Electrical detection of diamond defects

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Science  17 Feb 2017:
Vol. 355, Issue 6326, pp. 707-708
DOI: 10.1126/science.355.6326.707-e

Crystal lattice defects in diamonds make various optoelectronic applications possible.

PHOTO: IMAGEBROKER/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO

Diamonds have many different kinds of defects, each type imbuing the crystal with a distinctive color. The quantum properties of the nitrogen vacancy defect are being intensely studied as vital components of future quantum sensing technologies. The defects behave as microscopic magnets with spin states that are highly sensitive to the minutest magnetic field variations. Although the spin state can be read out optically, the process is inefficient and requires a high-end optical setup. Hrubesch et al. present a technique based on pulsed photoionization and coherent electrical spin manipulation that allows the spin state of the defects to be read out electrically. Such a setup could prove simpler to implement in an integrated platform that is useful for technological applications.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, 37601 (2017).

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