Shine Bright Like A
By Charlotte Bartl, Monica Kerin, Bridie Mannion, Emilia Mosiejewski, Natasha
Pace, Phoebe Thompson and Georgia Wiley
Growing Tall Poppies
•Enthusiastic Science Students from Star of the Sea College
•Growing Tall Poppies initiated by Coherent X-ray Science Group
•Centre for Quantum Computation and Communication Technology
opened their doors to allow us to experience first hand what goes on in
the real world of physics research.
•Given a project that allowed us to
- talking with senior scientists and postgraduate students
- exploring existing equipment and laboratories in the faculty
- brainstorming
- analysing data
- researching
Our Project
• “Nano-diamond quantum sensors in living
• Diamonds and Nano-diamonds - difference in properties
• Quantum - Mechanics
- Superpositions
- Sensors
• Nano-diamond’s Nitrogen Vacancies - Quantum Sensors - able to
detect small magnetic fields.
• Analysing Data - from Nano-diamonds in a biological system.
Our Week at CQC2T!
Our Week at CQC2T!
Our Week at CQC2T!
Our Week at CQC2T!
Our Week at CQC2T!
What is Quantum
Classical physics was the fundamental base of our
studies of the universe and all that’s in it.
Today it still remains at the base of our understanding, but
in the early 1900’s a problem came about; light.
Light brought properties us and our universe could not
explain, like the particle-wave duality.
Classical physics could not explain this and so quantum
mechanics was formed.
Quantum Mechanics
The quantum world supports superpositions, the real
world does not.
A superposition is something, that can in two or more
states at once.
A superposition is ultimately eliminated by an observer.
This was shown by Erwin Schrödinger’s thought
experiment, Schrödinger’s Cat.
• 200km beneath the Earth’s surface in upper mantel
• Carbon exposed to high pressure and heat
• Bonds to other carbon atoms
• Forms diamond lattice
• Diamonds at surface due to volcanic eruptions
• Volcanic material cooled down at surface and
kimberlite formed
• We find diamond in kimberlite when mining
Carbon atoms covalently bond
Tetrahedral structure
Hardest known naturally occurring material
Strength comes from tight lattice structure
High refractive index
Electrical insulator
Thermal conductor
Sometimes hydrophobic
DIAMONDS - Synthetic
• Artificially grown/created
• Almost identical to natural diamonds
• There are multiple ways to synthetically
manufacture diamonds
Diamonds - Growing
• Tiny diamond seeds
• Methane and hydrogen
• Plasma
• 4 to 5 days compared to 1-3 billion
- Machine and cutting tools
- Abrasives
- Jewellery
- Nano-diamond microscopes
- Tiny storage space for computers
- Window material in lasers and
microwave radiation
- Used in environments exposed to highradiation (eg: synchrotrons)
Diamond’s Structure and
• Diamond’s resistance and durability
is due to its structure: each carbon
atom bonding to three others,
forming a pyramid-like structure.
• Defects (vacancies or impurities) can
change the colour or properties of
The NV Defect
• A vacancy located next to a single
nitrogen atom.
• When a green laser is shined on a
diamond with a NV centre, it emits red
• Even one single NV defect can be
detected through a microscope!
• A device that is used to monitor particles or
objects on the nanoscale (10-100
• These nano-sensors must be biocompatible:
the organism or cell mustn’t suffer any ill
effects from the addition of this sensor, while
well as remaining functional.
NV-Diamonds as NanoSensors
• Follow all the requirements for a
biocompatible sensor
• Also possess a quantum state that can
be manipulated by microwaves,
meaning that they can be used to
measure intricate activities within the
live cell.
Nano-Diamond’s Activity in
the Cell
• After being injected, travel through the
cytoplasm and may attach to an
organelle or motor protein.
• This data can be analyised to better
understand the activity within cells,
leading to possible medical advances.
Visualising Technology
• Prepare sample, create
nano-diamonds by
smashing up bigger
diamonds, then heating
to remove excess
graphite coating
• Combine with water in
which the nano-diamonds
are suspended
Visualising Technology
• Pipette time!
Visualising Technology
• Then green light is then shined on the diamonds to
detect NV centers which shines red.
• We are able to detect a single NV defect in a nanodiamond.
• Two different techniques to document these nanodiamonds
-Wide Field
Visualising Technology
Visualising Technology
Microwaves excite electrons, causes them to jump energy
Exploiting the quantum properties in the NV center allows to
make more sensitive observations then would be seen in
classical systems
Strange quantum properties can help use learn about the
outside environment trying to collapse this fragile quantum
A property of nano-diamonds is their sensitively towards not
only magnetic fields but also temperature and pressure. This
is what allows us to make measurements inside the cell, which
otherwise is extremely difficult to make in a single cell.
Nano-diamond sensor data
in graphs
These graphs represent data collected of the paths of nanodiamond sensors in cells.
The first graphs show an overhead view of the nano-diamond
paths, which may be freely diffused or drifted with diffusion.
The second graphs show the general displacement of the
nano-diamonds in a line, which show clearly if the paths are
free or drifted.
Nano-diamond sensor 4
The first graph shows that
the path has a strong upward
direction that may indicate
drift from an external force.
The second graph confirms
that the nano-diamond’s path
is diffused with drift. The
velocity is 0.71942
micron/sec and a drift
velocity of 0.173007
micrometers squared.
Nano-diamond sensor 7
The first graph shows that the
path is brownian and spread
across the grid fairly equally
but is slightly more clumped
towards the lower region. It
doesn’t appear to have any
The second graph confirms
that the nano-diamond
sensor’s path is freely
diffused. It has a velocity of
What Now?
• How can this research be put into use?
• Will it be beneficial?
• Nano-imaging
Charles Hill
Victor Perunicic
Mark Kowarsky
Kristin Jovanoski
Dan Thompson
Alistair Stacey
Roland Szymanski
Sam Lichter
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