Hybrid Nanoparticles Derived from Diamonds Show Promising Developments

nanodiamondNanotechnology is now being developed for the hopes that it will improve other technologies that will be developed in the near future. This includes improving computer chip performances, better imaging from medical devices, and more power- efficient electrical devices.

Researchers from University of Maryland have come up with a procedure of creating large quantity of hybrid nanoparticles derived from diamonds. With their new procedure, they are able to bypass the existing problem that they’re experiencing while trying to make this kind of nanoparticle.

The method gives a different composition into diamond’s molecular structure. Instead of a carbon atom, the researchers place a nitrogen atom and an empty space beside where another carbon atom should be. This gap is called “nitrogen vacancy impurity” that resulted to different electromagnetic and optical properties of the diamond.

With this impurity, the researchers can put a different atom in that gap to incorporate different metal particles, called as ‘quantum dots’, and create different kinds of hybrid nanoparticles than can be used for different devices with specific nano properties.

Min Ouyang, the senior author of the study and an associate professor of Physics at University of Maryland, said “If you pair one of these diamonds with silver or gold nanoparticles, the metal can enhance the nanodiamond’s optical properties. If you couple the nanodiamond to a semiconducting quantum dot, the hybrid particle can transfer energy more efficiently.”

Results of their study also shows that this hybrid nanotechnology can work as a quantum bit, also known as qubit, even with the absence of ultra- low temperature. The researchers are hoping that their new method can use hybrid nano as qubit in room temperature. If they are able to succeed with this new development, it can change and improve the way how we process and store information.

Ouyang also said that if their new method permits qubit to work in room temperature, quantum circuits and components will soon be used in different electronics and even with household devices. With all these promising possibilities, the researchers are still focusing their efforts in replicating their work of producing hybrid nanoparticles using diamond grains. “Our key innovation is that we can now reliably and efficiently produce these freestanding hybrid particles in large numbers,” he said.

Researchers have used artificially- created diamonds for their study so they can customize its chemical composition put one nitrogen vacancy. This alteration caused the impurity that separates it to the molecular structure of pure diamond that consists of arranged frame of carbon atoms.

“A major strength of our technique is that it is broadly useful and can be applied to a variety of diamond types and paired with a variety of other nanomaterials. It can also be scaled up fairly easily. We are interested in studying the basic physics further, but also moving toward specific applications. The potential for room-temperature quantum entanglement is particularly exciting and important,” Ouyang added.

Though there are still a lot to improve when it comes to nanotechnology, we can expect great developments in the next few years as things are looking up on the bright side of things.