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Coherent Control of Diamond Defects for Quantum Information Science and Quantum Sensing

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Doctoral thesis

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Quantum mechanics, arguably one of the greatest achievements of modern physics, has not only fundamentally changed our understanding of nature but is also taking an ever increasing role in engineering. Today, the control of quantum systems has already had a far-reaching impact on time and frequency metrology. By gaining further control over a large variety of different quantum systems, many potential applications are emerging...Unfortunately most quantum systems are very fragile objects that require tremendous experimental effort to avoid dephasing. Being able to control the interaction between a quantum system with its local environment embodies therefore an important aspect for application and hence is at the focus of this thesis. Nitrogen Vacancy NV color centers in diamond have recently attracted attention as a room temperature solid state spin system that expresses long coherence times. The electronic spin associated with NV centers can be efficiently manipulated, initialized and readout using microwave and optical techniques. Inspired by these extraordinary properties, much effort has been dedicated to use NV centers as a building block for scalable room temperature quantum information processing and quantum communication as well as a quantum sensing. In the first part of this thesis we demonstrate that by decoupling the spin from the local environment the coherence time of a NV quantum register can be extended by three order of magnitudes. Employing a novel dissipative mechanism in combination with dynamical decoupling, memory times exceeding one second are observed. The second part shows that, based on quantum control, NV centers in nano-diamonds provide a nanoscale temperature sensor with unprecedented accuracy enabling local temperature measurements in living biological cells. This opens the door for the engineering of nano-scaled chemical reactions to the study of temperature dependent biological processes.

Subject Categories:

  • Crystallography
  • Quantum Theory and Relativity

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