Researchers introduced an innovative, inexpensive and rapid technique for crafting diamond-based hybrid nanoparticles in large quantities from the ground, which would circumvent numerous issues related to the present methods. The method instigates with nanoscale diamonds including ‘nitrogen vacancy’ impurities that bestow special electromagnetic and optical properties. By linking semiconducting (quantum dots) or metal particles, it is possible for the researchers to generate multiple hybrid nanoparticles, including nanoscale magnets and semiconductors with customized properties.
Such a technique is developed by the researchers at the University of Maryland to construct diamond-based hybrid nanoparticles in bulk from the ground. Till date, nanomaterials have found to include the potential to enhance numerous next-generation technologies. They can increase the speed of computer chips, enhance the resolution power of medical imaging devices and create much energy-efficient electronics.
But the process of imbuing nanomaterials with precise properties can be expensive and time-consuming. With this new and rapid method, it would be possible to overcome all sorts of drawbacks that are related to conventional methods.
“If one out of numerous diamonds is paired with gold or silver nanoparticles, then it would result in enhancement of the optical properties of the nanodiamond. If the nanodiamond is coupled with a semiconducting quantum dot, then it would help in the efficient transfer of the energy from the nanoparticle,” says Min Ouyang, an associate physics professor at UMD and senior author in the research panel.
There are also proofs suggesting that a singular nitrogen vacancy showcases quantum physical properties and could act just like a quantum bit, at room temperature. Qubits are the units of functionality that are presently used in elusive quantum
computing technology. Such innovation is expected to bring a drastic revolution to the method humans used for processing and storing information. Almost all qubits, which have been studied till date need ultra-cold temperatures for functioning properly.
The method introduced by Ouyang and his associates, UMD physics researchers – Jianxiao Gong and physics graduate Nathaniel Steinsultz, also allows for precise regulation of the properties of the particles, like the total number of non-diamond materials and their composition. The hybrid nanoparticles could enhance the layout of room-temperature qubits for brighter dyes, quantum computers for biomedical imaging, and greatly sensitive temperature and magnetic sensors, few out of numerous examples.
The nanoscale diamonds employed in the research program were fashioned artificially and have at least a single nitrogen vacancy. The presence of such impurity leads to a transformed bond structure in the otherwise well-arranged carbon lattice. The altered bond is the major source of electromagnetic, quantum physical and optical properties that adds utility to diamonds when coupled with other nanomaterials.
Although, this research demonstrates diamonds with nitrogen substitutes, Ouyang emphasis on the fact that this technique can be employed for other diamond impurities also, which could lead to newer possibilities.
Conclusion – “A strong point about our methodology is that it is extensively useful and can be used for varieties of diamond and coupled with other types of nanomaterials,” explains Ouyang. “We are further interested in studying the basic physics, but for specific applications. The prospective for room-temperature quantum entanglement is particularly vital and exciting.”