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19a Color-center-hosting diamond probes for precision scanning microscopy

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0022452
Agency Tracking Number: 0000263133
Amount: $200,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: C53-19a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0002554
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2022-02-14
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-11-13
Small Business Information
8100 Brownleigh Dr Ste 120
Raleigh, NC 27617-0696
United States
DUNS: 064596089
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Olga Shenderova
 (919) 881-0500
Business Contact
 Mary Eberle
Phone: (919) 881-0500
Research Institution
 Research Foundation of The City University of New York d/b/a RFCUNY - City Colle
160 Convent Avenue
New York, NY 10031-9107
United States

 () -
 Nonprofit College or University

While quantum sensors based on engineered defects in diamond are capable of providing navigation in GPS-denied environments, play a role of unprecedented metrology tools for screening of defects in next generation MRAM devices, and help to discover novel superconducting materials, the absence of commercial production of the core “quantum diamond” material to be used in these sensors hinders the field. Adámas Nanotechnologies, Inc. will work in collaboration with the group of Professor C.A. Meriles at The City College of New York (CCNY) to develop high-quality nano-sensing probes that leverage the singular spin and optical properties of color centers in diamond. To this end, we will combine deterministic placement of color centers near the diamond surface, nano-fabrication, and magnetic-resonance-aided confocal microscopy to engineer and characterize a set of atomic-force-compatible, all-diamond cantilevers hosting color centers — in the form of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers — only nanometers away from the scanning probe surface. In our technical approach to satisfy the market need in quantum diamond probes we will focus on two advancements: (i) development/integration of advanced material processing techniques providing long-lived spins for quantum interrogation, and (ii) fabrication of scanning probes with simplified designs and improved robustness. The high-quality quantum probes derived from this effort will find a broad range of applications in areas spanning condensed matter physics, material sciences, as well as physical- and bio-chemistry. We anticipate that the cost of these probes will be substantially lower than those available today which, at present, can only be imported from Europe. During Phase I, Adámas and CCNY will (1) develop the fabrication protocols (i.e., delta doping, ion implantation, sample annealing, crystal thinning and patterning, etc.) required to produce scanning probes of variable geometries, and (2) carry out feasibility studies to characterize the color center’s optical and spin properties. We anticipate an iterative cycle combining diamond processing and color center screening so as to identify the optimal set of parameters. All diamond processing work will be carried out by Adámas and its collaborators (e.g., Argonne National Laboratory), while the CCNY group will leverage its atomic-force, confocal microscopy, and magnetic resonance capabilities to conduct methodical characterizations of the resulting probes and, if possible, initial proof-of-principle demonstrations of color-center-enabled nanoscale sensing.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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