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Sci Adv. 2019 May 3;5(5):eaau6073. doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau6073. eCollection 2019 May.

High-pressure, high-temperature molecular doping of nanodiamond.

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Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1750, USA.
Department of Chemistry, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-1700, USA.
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-2120, USA.
Materials Science and Technology Division, Naval Research Laboratory, Washington, DC 20375, USA.
Physical and Computational Sciences Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA 99352, USA.


The development of color centers in diamond as the basis for emerging quantum technologies has been limited by the need for ion implantation to create the appropriate defects. We present a versatile method to dope diamond without ion implantation by synthesis of a doped amorphous carbon precursor and transformation at high temperatures and high pressures. To explore this bottom-up method for color center generation, we rationally create silicon vacancy defects in nanodiamond and investigate them for optical pressure metrology. In addition, we show that this process can generate noble gas defects within diamond from the typically inactive argon pressure medium, which may explain the hysteresis effects observed in other high-pressure experiments and the presence of noble gases in some meteoritic nanodiamonds. Our results illustrate a general method to produce color centers in diamond and may enable the controlled generation of designer defects.

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