Diamonds Are a Quantum Sensing Scientist’s Best Friend

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We all know that diamonds can hold great sentimental (and monetary) value. As luck may have it, diamonds—particularly defective ones, with little errors in their crystal structure—also hold great scientific value. The defects have properties that can only be described by quantum mechanics, and researchers are working on harnessing these properties to pick up on tiny signals coming from individual biological cells.

In a new episode of the Joint Quantum Institute's (JQI) Relatively Certain Podcast, Ronald Walsworth, founding director of the Quantum Technology Center, as well as Minta Martin professor of electrical and computer engineering and professor of physics at UMD, explains how diamond defects can be used as superb magnetic field sensors and discusses recent strides toward using them to image the insides of individual cells. More details on these advances can be found in two recent publications from Walsworth’s lab. Walsworth is also a member of the Institute for Research in Electronics & Applied Physics and a Fellow of JQI.

The episode was produced by JQI's Dina Genkina, Chris Cesare and Emily Edwards. Relatively Certain is a research partnership between the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The Clark School thanks JQI for sharing this episode.

Published October 11, 2021