(Photonics.com) Scientists at RMIT University and the University of Adelaide have developed a diamond sensor using conventional fibers. They embedded μm-scale diamond particles within the cross-section of a silicate glass fiber. The diamond-doped optical fibers drive the fiber optic magnetometry with ensemble nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond. The sensor can be used in the field.
The researchers received inspiration from the work of a local glass blower, Karen Cunningham, who used nanoparticles in her art to show how light moves through glass.
Diamond containing an NV center is an important platform for quantum sensors, but most NV sensors require microscopes to collect the fluorescence signals. This limits their use to laboratory settings.
Heike Ebendorff-Heidepriem at the University of Adelaide said the research team worked to find a way around this issue for a decade. “Because diamond burns at high temperatures, we’ve been limited in the glasses that we can use,” she said.
The work could open the way for the scalable fabrication of fiber-based diamond sensors for quantum metrology applications that could be deployed underwater, underground, and elsewhere. “It always takes hard work to go from the idea to the product, but I’m so excited by what we’ve achieved, and even more excited by where this new quantum sensor can take us,” RMIT researcher Dongbi Bai said.