QNAMI applies fundamentally new physics to sensing applications. By precisely controlling and measuring the state of a single electron, we are able to measure electric and magnetic fields with unique sensitivity. We call this quantum sensing, a technique which was developed in the quantum sensing group in Basel.
COLOR CENTERS IN DIAMOND
Diamond is an outstanding material. It is robust, inert and bio-compatible allowing for non-perturbing measurement in the most challenging environments. It is also the perfect material for a quantum sensor.
We use synthetic diamond fabricated in growth chambers at very high temperature and pressure. From a technique called Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD), one is able to obtain synthetic diamonds with a purity exceeding the one of natural diamonds by far. We buy such diamond and upgrade them for quantum applications by introducing color centers in it.
Color centers are tiny defects that can be artificially implanted into the diamond crystal lattice. They trap an electron, which we use as a sensing. The color centers in diamond present a number of advantages.
SCANNING PROBE MICROSCOPY
In order to deliver images with nanometer resolution, our diamonds are processed into sharp tips with sub-micron dimensions. By scanning the tip, one records images of the magnetic or electric fields produced by any sample sitting below.
The spatial resolution is given by the flight distance between the color center and the surface and can be made as small as 10 nm.
Data read-out is performed optically. Our diamond probes are designed to optimize extraction efficiency and ensure maximum sensitivity. The diamond tip (green) is positioned with the color center in the focus of the objective. Images are obtained from a contrast in the detected fluorescence as the sample (purple) is scanned.