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First commercial, general-purpose quantum grade diamond for next-generation quantum technologies

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Element Six, part of the De Beers Group, has introduced the first commercially-available, general-purpose chemical vapour deposition (CVD) quantum-grade diamond − the DNV-B1. DNV-B1 contains optimised nitrogen vacancy defects that make it suitable for adoption in research and development for quantum applications, unlocking a new generation of diamond-enabled quantum technologies, such as nitrogen-vacancy (NV) ensembles for quantum demonstrations, masers, detection of RF radiation, gyroscopes, sensing and more.

“It’s remarkable that these perfectly imperfect diamonds offer so many opportunities in quantum-enabled applications,” said Dr Daniel Twitchen, Chief Technologist, Element Six. “The field of synthetic diamond is moving quickly, but by working with its global network and leveraging its R&D heritage, Element Six has optimised synthesis and post-synthesis processing with control at the part-per-billion level. We hope that this general-purpose DNV-B1 grade will be the first of a long, successful DNV series that solves new problems across diverse areas in the consumer, defence and medical markets.”

Diamond NV (DNV) centres offer researchers a unique solid-state platform with spin qubits that can be initialised and read out at room temperature, with long qubit lifetimes, properties stemming from diamond’s unique structure and strong bonds.

Element Six’s DNV-B1 is developed to provide a baseline solution that contains a uniform density of NV spin centres. It is specifically designed for emerging diamond applications that require ensembles of NV centres, guaranteeing a minimum level of performance. To date, working closely with a network of global collaborators, Element Six’s engineered diamond research has accelerated the delivery of many breakthroughs in quantum research, including: in 2012, Harvard reported isotopically-engineered CVD single crystal that achieved spin coherence times of seconds at room temperature; in 2015, Delft University of Technology used Element Six material for the first successful loophole-free Bell’s inequality test, proving for the first time that ‘spooky action at a distance’ is real, further enabling quantum-secure networks; in 2018, the Imperial College London utilised engineered single crystal material in the development of the world’s first continuous-wave, room-temperature, solid-state MASER (microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation); and, in 2019, Lockheed Martin’s Dark Ice program delivered a DNV-enabled magnetometer that measured the direction and strength of nearly imperceptible magnetic field anomalies, opening up diamond-based quantum devices in GPS-denied navigation applications.

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