Originally treasured as a beautiful, symbolic and expensive gemstone, and later developed as an industrial work-horse, diamond is now entering a new realm of sensing applications that depend on its unique quantum characteristics.
Synthetic versions of the super-hard gem stone are driving the development of a class of device with applications in biomedicine and beyond.
Diamonds, one of the hardest materials on Earth, are so strong that they can protect fragile quantum states that would otherwise survive only in a vacuum or at ultra-cold temperatures. Engineers are mastering the art of growing diamonds with special properties and detecting their quantum spins — opening up a range of sensing applications in the life sciences and elsewhere.
Defects in diamonds allow them to be used for a diverse array of applications.
Over the last few decades, a variety of important breakthroughs have been powered by diamond materials science. These achievements demonstrate that material scientists may have unlocked diamond’s full potential for a new generation of technology, from precision machining to semiconductors.