Nanodiamonds - Potentials and Technological Options for Nanodiamonds by NT-MDT

Topics Covered

Introduction
Technological Options for Nanodiamonds
     BioLabels
     Diamond Magnetometry
     Nanodiamond Quantum Devices
Equipment for Analysis of Nanodiamonds

Introduction

Nanodiamonds can be produced by the detonation of a mixture of the explosives TNT/RDX and have a size range in the region of 5 nm.

Although the industrial uses of diamond colloids are well known as abrasives, lapping compounds, engine oil additives and dry lubricants, at the 5 nm size scale, the current attraction to scientists is the presence of nitrogen vacancies (N-V) within the nanodiamond, commonly known as "Colour Centres", due to their ability to either absorb or emit light.

Specifically, this scientific interest centres on the property of the nanodiamond to fluoresce and the fact the optical signal emitted by the nitrogen vacancy is highly sensitive to weak magnetic fields.


(top) "Fluorescence map" of the nitrogen vacancy centres in nanodiamond crystals.(bottom) Atomic force microscopy (AFM) map of the nanodiamond profiles taken with the NT-MDT Probe NanoLaboratory NTEGRA Spectra.
Image Credit: A/Prof. James Rabeau, Quantum Materials and Applications group, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia)

Technological Options for Nanodiamonds

BioLabels

The use of nanodiamonds in fluorescent biolabels is attracting considerable interest as it is possible to attach these 5 nm particles to other molecules and then "map" their progress through a network of cells.

Recent work published in Nature Nanotechnology (DOI: 10.1038/NNANO.2010.56) has also highlighted evidence for "blinking" or intermittent luminescence of nanodiamonds, with an additional comment that it may also be possible to control the "blinking" by surface modifications of the nanodioamonds.

Diamond Magnetometry

The NV colour centres in nanodiamonds can sense some of the weakest magnetic fields. The change in the optical signal from the NV colour centre can even detect the changes in magnetic fields caused by variations in nuclear spins.

Image Credit: A/Prof. James Rabeau, Quantum Materials and Applications group, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia)

Nanodiamond Quantum Devices

Quantum computing relies on a fundamental building block known as a "Quantum Bit" or "Qubit".In the case of NV centres in nanodiamonds, the state of spin of the electrons can be 0, 1 or a combination of the two. The spin being read by a magnetic resonance technique similar to the one described above and thereby enabling the 1-0 principle required for digital computing.

Equipment for Analysis of Nanodiamonds

Probe NanoLaboratory NTEGRA Spectra is a unique integration of AFM and confocal microscopy / luminescence and Raman scattering spectroscopy. The distinguishing feature of NTEGRA Spectra is the capability of studying optical properties of objects beyond usual diffraction limits.

Scanning Near-field Optical Microscopy and the effect of local Tip Enhanced Raman Scattering (TERS) provides the researcher with the tools for mapping optical properties (light transmission, light scattering, light polarization, etc.) as well as conducting Raman scattering spectroscopy with flat XY resolution down to 50 nm.

Source: NT-MDT Co.

For more information on this source please visit NT-MDT Co.

Date Added: Oct 10, 2010 | Updated: Jun 11, 2013
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