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How can isotopically enriched diamond be produced?
Isotope-enriched diamond is produced using artificial diamond production processes. Typically, these are the high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) process and the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) process. The isotope ratio is determined during diamond production and cannot be changed afterwards.
Why do we need isotope-enriched diamonds?
The isotope 13C has a nuclear spin of I=1. In the case of a quantum sensor, this nuclear spin in the diamond leads to interference during the measurement. The absence of this source of interference therefore leads to improved sensitivity. On the other hand, quantum computing relies precisely on these nuclear spins naturally present in the diamond, as they are naturally well shielded against influences from the environment and can therefore be used very well as qubits in quantum computers.
What is isotope-enriched diamond?
The natural occurrence of the carbon isotope is mainly composed of the two classes 12C (98.9%) and 13C (1.1%). This is also found in natural diamonds. In artificially produced (synthetic) diamonds, this ratio can be manipulated to achieve the desired properties for quantum sensor technology (less 13C) or quantum computing (more 13C).