Title:
SYNTHESIS AND PROCESSING OF PURE AND NV NANODIAMONDS AND OTHER NANOSTRUCTURES FOR QUANTUM COMPUTING AND MAGNETIC SENSING APPLICATIONS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Using processes disclosed herein, materials and structures are created and used. For example, processes can include melting amorphous carbon doped with nitrogen and carbon-13 into an undercooled state followed by quenching. Materials disclosed herein may include dopants in concentrations exceeding thermodynamic solubility limits.



Inventors:
Narayan, Jagdish (Raleigh, NC, US)
Application Number:
15/635789
Publication Date:
12/28/2017
Filing Date:
06/28/2017
Assignee:
North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC, US)
International Classes:
C30B19/00; C30B29/04
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Primary Examiner:
SONG, MATTHEW J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KILPATRICK TOWNSEND & STOCKTON LLP (Mailstop: 22 - IP Docketing 1100 Peachtree Street Suite 2800 Atlanta GA 30309)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method comprising: depositing an amorphous carbon film on a substrate by pulsed laser deposition; adding N2+ ions to the deposited amorphous carbon film; adding carbon-13 to the deposited amorphous carbon film; after the adding N2+ and the adding carbon-13, melting a portion of the film with the added N2+ ions and the added carbon-13 into an undercooled state; and quenching the melted portion from the undercooled state to create NV-doped diamond having a carbon-13 atom and substitutional nitrogen atoms and vacancies incorporated therein.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein the quenching includes rapid quenching from the undercooled state to create the NV-doped diamond with NV-dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits.

3. The method of claim 2, wherein the rapid quenching includes using solute trapping to create the NV-doped diamond with NV-dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein the NV-doped diamond has sharp transitions between NV and NV0.

5. The method of claim 1, further comprising: configuring the substrate to deterministically place the created NV-doped diamond on the substrate.

6. The method of claim 1, wherein the NV-doped diamond has transitions between NV and NV0, the transitions being controllable electrically and/or optically by laser illumination.

7. The method of claim 1, wherein the duration of the quenching is between 200-250 nanoseconds.

8. The method of claim 1, further comprising: epitaxially growing the created NV-doped diamond by using the substrate as a template for epitaxial growth.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the created NV-doped diamond is a nanodot, microcrystal, nanoneedle, microneedle, or large area single crystal film.

10. A method for creating 13C-NV-doped diamond at ambient temperature and pressure, the method comprising quenching carbon from an undercooled state to create the 13C-NV-doped diamond with 13C-NV-dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits, the 13C-NV-dopants comprising nitrogen and carbon-13.

11. A process comprising: melting, into an undercooled state, amorphous carbon doped with nitrogen and carbon-13; quenching the amorphous carbon from the undercooled state to create diamond having one or more carbon-13 atoms and one or more substitutional nitrogen atoms and vacancies incorporated therein.

12. The process of claim 11, wherein the quenching includes rapid quenching from the undercooled state to create the diamond with dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits.

13. The process of claim 12, wherein the rapid quenching includes using solute trapping to create the diamond with dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits.

14. The process of claim 11, wherein the created diamond has sharp transitions between NV and NV0.

15. The process of claim 11, further comprising: configuring a substrate to deterministically place the created diamond on the substrate.

16. The process of claim 11, wherein the created diamond has transitions between NV and NV0, the transitions being controllable electrically and/or optically by laser illumination.

17. The process of claim 11, wherein the duration of the quenching is between 200-250 nanoseconds.

18. The process of claim 11, further comprising: epitaxially growing the created diamond by using a substrate as a template for epitaxial growth.

19. The process of claim 11, wherein the created diamond is a nanodot, microcrystal, nanoneedle, microneedle, or large area single crystal film.

20. A product formed by the process of claim 11.

21. A product formed by the method of claim 1.

22. A product formed by the method of claim 10.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/355,681, entitled “NANOSTRUCTURES AND METHODS FOR PROCESSING” and filed on Jun. 28, 2016.

Embodiments relate generally to synthesis and processing of materials and nanostructures, and more particularly, to conversion of carbon into diamond including diamond doped with nitrogen (to form nitrogen-vacancy (“NV”) centers) and carbon-13, and structures thereof.

Using processes disclosed herein, materials and structures are created and used. For example, processes can include melting amorphous carbon into an undercooled state followed by quenching. Exemplary materials disclosed herein can be ferromagnetic, diamagnetic or superconductor. Materials disclosed herein may include dopants in concentrations exceeding thermodynamic solubility limits.

Some embodiments include a quantum computer comprising a quantum register with a size of at least two qubits. Each of the qubits comprises a different one of a plurality of NV-doped nanodiamonds deterministically placed on a substrate. Each of the NV-doped nanodiamonds comprises one NV center and one carbon-13 atom. The substrate is planar matching with diamond and each of the NV-doped nanodiamonds is epitaxial with the substrate. Each of the NV-doped nanodiamonds has sharp transitions between NV− and NV0. The transitions can be controlled electrically by current and/or optically by laser illumination. The NV-doped diamonds can all have the same orientation.

Some embodiments include a process for creating doped nanostructures incorporating one or more dopants at concentrations exceeding thermodynamic solubility limits. The process can include depositing a film and doping the film with one or more dopants. The process can also include melting at least a portion of the deposited, doped film into a super undercooled state. The process can further include quenching from the super undercooled state to form one or more doped nanostructures incorporating the one or more dopants at concentrations exceeding thermodynamic solubility limits. The dopants can be incorporated into the doped nanostructures at concentrations exceeding thermodynamic solubility limits via solute trapping. The material can be carbon (e.g., amorphous carbon) and the nanostructures formed can be doped diamond nanostructures diamond having nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers (or “NV-doped” diamond)). The film can be deposited on a substrate that can be adapted to provide a template for epitaxial growth such that the doped nanostructures are formed as epitaxial doped nanostructures (e.g., epitaxial NV diamond nanostructures). The substrate can also be adapted such that the doped nanostructures are placed deterministically on the substrate (e.g., by self-assembly). The film can be deposited on the substrate by pulsed laser deposition. The melting can include melting at least a portion of the deposited, doped film using a nanosecond laser pulse. The melting and/or quenching can be performed in a vacuum or in an environment at ambient temperature and pressure.

Some embodiments include a process for creating diamond and products formed by the process. The process can include melting amorphous carbon into an undercooled state. The process can also include quenching the amorphous carbon from the undercooled state to create diamond. The created diamond can be a nanodiamond, microdiamond, nanoneedle, microneedle, or large area single crystal film (or a portion thereof). The process can further include, before the melting, depositing a film of the amorphous carbon on a substrate. The process can also include epitaxially growing the created diamond using the substrate as a template for epitaxial growth. The substrate can be tungsten carbide, silicon, copper, sapphire, glass, steel or a polymer. The melting can include melting amorphous carbon in an undercooled state by a laser pulse in an environment at ambient temperature and pressure.

Some embodiments include a process for creating diamond. The process can include melting a first portion of amorphous carbon into an undercooled state by a laser pulse in an environment at ambient temperature and pressure. The process can also include quenching the first portion of amorphous carbon from the undercooled state to create a first portion of diamond. The created first portion of diamond can be at least part of a nanodiamond, microdiamond, nanoneedle, microneedle, gemstone, or large area single crystal film. The process can further include, after the quenching the first portion, melting a second portion of amorphous carbon into an undercooled state and quenching the second portion of the amorphous carbon to create a second diamond portion. The first and second portions of diamond can form a at least a portion of a nanodiamond, microdiamond, nanoneedle, microneedle, gemstone, or large area single crystal film. The process can further include, before the melting, depositing a film of the amorphous carbon on a substrate. The process can also include epitaxially growing the first portion of diamond using the substrate as a template for epitaxial growth.

Some embodiments include a process for creating diamond. The process can include depositing a film of amorphous carbon on a substrate. The process can also include melting a first portion of the amorphous carbon film in an undercooled state by a laser pulse in an environment at ambient temperature and pressure. The process can also include quenching the first portion of the amorphous carbon film from the undercooled state to create a first diamond portion using the substrate as a template for epitaxial growth. The process can further include, after the quenching the first portion, repositioning the laser pulse with respect to the film or repositioning the film with respect to the laser pulse. The process can also include, after the repositioning, melting a second portion of amorphous carbon in an undercooled state. The process can also include, quenching the second portion of the amorphous carbon to create a second diamond portion using the substrate as a template for epitaxial growth. The first and second portions of diamond together can form at least part of a nanodiamond, microdiamond, nanoneedle, microneedle, gemstone, or large area single crystal film.

Some embodiments include a structure that includes a substrate and a plurality of NV-doped diamonds deterministically placed on the substrate. The plurality of NV-doped diamonds can have the same orientation. The plurality of NV-doped diamonds can be epitaxial with the substrate.

Some embodiments include an NV-doped diamond having a concentration of NV-dopants that exceeds thermodynamic solubility limits.

Some embodiments include a process for creating NV-doped diamond at ambient temperature and pressure, the process including quenching carbon from an undercooled state to create the NV-doped diamond with NV-dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits.

Some embodiments include a process for creating NV-doped diamond having substitutional nitrogen atoms and vacancies incorporated therein. The process can include depositing an amorphous carbon film on a substrate by pulsed laser deposition. The process can also include adding N2+ ions to the deposited amorphous carbon film. The process can further include, after the adding, melting a portion of the film with the added N2+ ions into an undercooled state. The process can also include quenching the melted portion from the undercooled state to create NV-doped diamond having substitutional nitrogen atoms and vacancies incorporated therein. The quenching can include rapid quenching from the undercooled state to create the NV-doped diamond with NV-dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits. The rapid quenching can include using solute trapping to create the NV-doped diamond with NV-dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits. The NV-doped diamond can have sharp transitions between NV and NV0. The process can also include configuring the substrate to deterministically place the created NV-doped diamond on the substrate. The NV-doped diamond can have transitions between NV and NV0, and the transitions can be controlled electrically by passing current and/or optically by laser illumination. The duration of the quenching can be between 200-250 nanoseconds. The process can also include epitaxially growing the created NV-doped diamond by using the substrate as a template for epitaxial growth. The created NV-doped diamond can be a nanodot, microcrystal, nanoneedle, microneedle, or large area single crystal film (or a portion thereof).

Some implementations (first implementations) include a structure comprising a substrate and a plurality of NV-doped diamonds. The NV-doped diamonds deterministically placed on the substrate, and each of the NV-doped diamonds can include an NV center and a carbon-13 atom.

In some first implementations, the plurality of NV-doped diamonds have a same orientation. In some first implementations, the substrate is planar matching with diamond and the plurality of NV-doped diamonds are epitaxial with the substrate. In some first implementations, the plurality of NV-doped diamonds has concentrations of NV-dopants that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits, the NV-dopants comprising carbon-13. In some first implementations, each of the plurality of NV-doped diamonds comprises one NV center and one carbon-13 atom. In some first implementations, each of the NV-doped diamonds has sharp transitions between NV and NV0. In some first implementations, each of the NV-doped diamonds has transitions between NV and NV0, the transitions being controllable electrically and/or optically by laser illumination.

Some implementations (second implementations) include NV-doped diamond having concentrations of NV-dopants that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits. The NV-dopants can include carbon-13.

In some second implementations, the NV-doped diamond comprises a plurality of NV-doped nanodiamonds each having a same orientation. In some second implementations, the NV-doped diamond comprises one or more NV-doped nanodiamonds that are epitaxial with a substrate that is planar matching with diamond. In some second implementations, the NV-doped diamond comprises one NV center complex, the NV center complex comprising one NV center and one carbon-13 atom. In some second implementations, the NV-doped diamond comprises one or more NV-doped nanodiamonds each comprising one NV center complex that includes one NV center and one carbon-13 atom. In some second implementations, the NV-doped diamond has sharp transitions between NV and NV0. In some second implementations, the NV-doped diamond has transitions between NV and NV0, the transitions being controllable electrically and/or optically by laser illumination.

Some implementations (third implementations) include a method for creating 13C-NV-doped diamond at ambient temperature and pressure, the method comprising quenching carbon from an undercooled state to create the 13C-NV-doped diamond with 13C-NV-dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits, the 13C-NV-dopants comprising nitrogen and carbon-13.

Some implementations (fourth implementations) include a method comprising depositing an amorphous carbon film on a substrate by pulsed laser deposition. The method can also include adding N2+ ions to the deposited amorphous carbon film. Carbon-13 can be added to the deposited amorphous carbon film. The method can include, after the adding N2+ and the adding carbon-13, melting a portion of the film with the added N2+ ions and the added carbon-13 into an undercooled state. The method can also include quenching the melted portion from the undercooled state to create NV-doped diamond having a carbon-13 atom and substitutional nitrogen atoms and vacancies incorporated therein.

In some fourth implementations, the quenching includes rapid quenching from the undercooled state to create the NV-doped diamond with NV-dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits. In some fourth implementations, the rapid quenching includes using solute trapping to create the NV-doped diamond with NV-dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits. In some fourth implementations, the NV-doped diamond has sharp transitions between NV and NV0. In some fourth implementations, the method also includes configuring the substrate to deterministically place the created NV-doped diamond on the substrate. In some fourth implementations, the NV-doped diamond has transitions between NV and NV0, the transitions being controllable electrically and/or optically by laser illumination. In some fourth implementations, the duration of the quenching is between 200-250 nanoseconds. In some fourth implementations, the method also includes epitaxially growing the created NV-doped diamond by using the substrate as a template for epitaxial growth. In some fourth implementations, the created NV-doped diamond is a nanodot, microcrystal, nanoneedle, microneedle, or large area single crystal film.

Some implementations (fifth implementations) include a process comprising melting, into an undercooled state, amorphous carbon doped with nitrogen and carbon-13. The process also includes quenching the amorphous carbon from the undercooled state to create diamond having one or more carbon-13 atoms and one or more substitutional nitrogen atoms and vacancies incorporated therein.

In some fifth implementations, the quenching includes rapid quenching from the undercooled state to create the diamond with dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits. In some fifth implementations, the rapid quenching includes using solute trapping to create the diamond with dopant concentrations that exceed thermodynamic solubility limits. In some fifth implementations, the created diamond has sharp transitions between NV and NV0. In some fifth implementations, the process also includes configuring a substrate to deterministically place the created diamond on the substrate. In some fifth implementations, the created diamond has transitions between NV and NV0, the transitions being controllable electrically and/or optically by laser illumination. In some fifth implementations, the duration of the quenching is between 200-250 nanoseconds. In some fifth implementations, the process also includes epitaxially growing the created diamond by using a substrate as a template for epitaxial growth. In some fifth implementations, the created diamond is a nanodot, microcrystal, nanoneedle, microneedle, or large area single crystal film.

Some implementations (sixth implementations) include a product formed by the process of the fifth implementations. Some implementations (seventh implementations) include a product formed by the method of the third implementations. Some implementations (seventh implementations) include a product formed by the method of the fourth implementations. Some implementations (eighth implementations) include a quantum computer comprising the structure of the first implementations.

Some implementations (ninth implementations) include a quantum computer comprising a quantum register with a size of at least two qubits. Each of the qubits comprises a different one of a plurality of NV-doped nanodiamonds deterministically placed on a substrate. Each of the NV-doped nanodiamonds comprises one NV center and one carbon-13 atom. The substrate is planar matching with diamond and each of the NV-doped nanodiamonds is epitaxial with the substrate. Each of the NV-doped nanodiamonds has sharp transitions between NV− and NV0.

In some ninth implementations, the transitions are controllable electrically by current and/or optically by laser illumination. In some ninth implementations, all of the NV-doped diamonds have the same orientation.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The patent or application file contains at least one drawing executed in color. Copies of this patent or patent application publication with color drawing(s) will be provided by the Office upon request and payment of the necessary fee.

FIG. 1A is a graph depicting an example of a carbon phase diagram.

FIG. 1B is a graph depicting Gibbs free energy as a Function of Temperature for Graphite (Gg), Liquid Carbon (Glia.) and Diamond (Gd).

FIG. 2 is a top view of a scanning electron microscope (“SEM”) micrograph showing a cellular structure of a Q-carbon filament.

FIG. 3 is an image showing formation of a nanodiamond.

FIG. 4 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing growth of microdiamonds from a Q-carbon filament that contained nanodiamond nuclei.

FIG. 5 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing an area near the middle of an irradiated amorphous carbon that includes a high density of nanodiamonds and microdiamonds.

FIG. 6 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing formation of nanodiamonds from a Q-carbon throughout the film by a homogeneous nucleation.

FIG. 7 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing an area near the middle of an irradiated amorphous carbon that includes mostly microdiamonds.

FIG. 8 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing the formation of nanodiamonds and microdiamonds from a Q-carbon filament.

FIG. 9 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing formation of nanodiamonds by homogeneous nucleation and on top of existing microdiamonds formed by heterogeneous nucleation (shown by arrows).

FIG. 10 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing formation of nanodiamonds by homogeneous nucleation between Q-carbon filaments.

FIG. 11 is a top view of SEM micrograph showing diamond nanodots and nanorods nucleating from Q-carbon.

FIG. 12 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing microdiamonds forming when most of a Q-carbon filament is converted into diamond by second laser pulse.

FIG. 13 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing a full conversion of amorphous Q-carbon into a string of microdiamonds.

FIG. 14 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing a triple point of a Q-carbon filament and the nucleation of diamond.

FIG. 15 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing heterogeneous nucleation of nanodiamonds after a laser pulse is applied to the Q-carbon.

FIG. 16 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing formation of microdiamonds and some nanodiamonds after a second laser pulse.

FIG. 17 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing microdiamonds covering an entire region of super undercooled carbon.

FIG. 18 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing formation of a large-area single-crystal diamond thin film on a sapphire substrate.

FIG. 19 is an image of an SEM micrograph showing diamond growing on a copper substrate, where diamond is epitaxially aligned with copper and grows as single crystal.

FIG. 20 is an image of an SEM micrograph showing the formation of a diamond faceted pillar 2002 from super undercooled carbon.

FIG. 21 is a graph 2100 depicting an example of Raman spectra results from Q-carbon on a sapphire substrate after a laser pulse, according to one example.

FIG. 22 is a graph 2200 depicting an example of Raman spectra results from microdiamond on sapphire substrate after a laser pulse, according to one example.

FIG. 23 is an image of an SEM micrograph image showing a cross-section transmission electron microscopy (“TEM”) sample of Q-carbon containing nanodiamonds and microdiamonds on a sapphire substrate, according to one example.

FIG. 24 is a high-resolution TEM (“HRTEM”) image showing an epitaxial diamond single-crystal film and the corresponding <110> electron diffraction pattern, according to one example.

FIG. 25 is a HTREM image from Q-carbon that has a substantially amorphous structure with some nanodiamonds embedded into the Q-carbon.

FIG. 26 is a graph of an electron energy loss spectroscopy (“EELS”) spectrum from diamond, according to one example.

FIG. 27 is a graph of an EELS spectrum from Q-carbon, according to one example.

FIG. 28 is a schematic diagram showing formation of diamond nanoneedles or microneedles from super undercooled carbon.

FIG. 29 is an SEM micrograph showing formation of diamond nanoneedles and diamond microneedles from super undercooled carbon.

FIG. 30 is an SEM image with EBSD Kikuchi pattern from microdiamond growing out of super undercooled carbon, according to one example.

FIG. 31 is an SEM image with EBSD Kikuchi pattern from microneedle growing out of super undercooled carbon near a sapphire interface, according to another example.

FIG. 32 is an image of an SEM micrograph showing high-number density of diamond microneedles forming from super undercooled carbon with an EBSD pattern.

FIG. 33 is a graph depicting an example of Raman spectrum results from diamond microneedles.

FIG. 34 is an SEM micrograph showing diamond nanoneedles and microneedles growing from super undercooled carbon on a sapphire substrate, according to one example.

FIG. 35 is an image of an SEM micrograph after residual amorphous carbon is etched away, which shows that nanoscale perturbation sets in quenched super undercooled carbon liquid.

FIG. 36 is an image of a SEM micrograph after residual amorphous carbon is etched away, which shows formation of diamond nanoneedles and microneedles from super undercooled carbon.

FIG. 37 is an image of a SEM micrograph showing formation of nanoneedles and microneedles from super undercooled carbon after residual amorphous carbon is etched away, according to another example.

FIG. 38 is a graph depicting an example of Raman spectra results from nanodiamond, microdiamond and large-area thin films without residual amorphous peaks.

FIG. 39 is an image of a SEM micrograph showing microdiamonds and nanodiamonds on a high density polyethylene (“HDPE”) substrate.

FIG. 40 is a graph depicting an example of Raman spectra results before and after laser annealing an amorphous diamond-like carbon film from the HDPE substrate depicted in FIG. 39.

FIG. 41 is a flow chart depicting an example of a process for converting super undercooled carbon into a phase of carbon (e.g., Q-carbon) from which diamond structures can grow or nucleate.

FIG. 42 is a flow chart depicting an example of a process for integrating a diamond structure with a substrate.

FIG. 43 is a graph depicting PL spectra from a sample containing NV0 and NV− centers, according to one example.

FIG. 44 is a graph showing time resolved PL measurements of NV nanodiamonds decay lifetime, according to one example.

FIG. 45 is a graph showing increasing laser power at temperature of 80 K, according to one example.

FIG. 46 is a graph of the NV0/NV− ratio and laser power for various temperatures, according to one example.

FIG. 47 is a graph illustrating tuning the NV0/NV ratio using thermal energy, according to one example.

FIG. 48 illustrates an array of self-assembled <111> 13C-NV nanodiamonds for quantum computing and magnetic sensing applications, according to one example.

FIG. 49 is a quantum computer comprising 13C-NV diamond qubits, according to one example.

FIG. 50 illustrates quenching from a super undercooled state to form an ordered array of nanodiamonds, according to one example.

FIG. 51 illustrates the atomic structure of substitutional nitrogen and vacancy (NV) defect in <110> chain of diamond.

FIG. 52A illustrates an NV defect in a diamond tetrahedron contained in (a/2,a/2,a/2) diamond unit cell.

FIG. 52B illustrates an NV defect in a diamond tetrahedron contained in (a/2,a/2,a/2) diamond unit cell where one of the carbon atoms is replaced by magnetic isotope carbon-13 (or 13C), according to one example.

FIG. 53 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of nanodiamonds with inset at a higher magnification, according to one example.

FIG. 54 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of a mechanism of nanodiamond formation from Q-Carbon, according to one example.

FIG. 55 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of the formation of nanodiamonds during initial stages and EBSD pattern, showing characteristic diamond Kikuchi pattern, according to one example.

FIG. 56 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of a mixture of nanodiamonds and microdiamonds, according to one example.

FIG. 57 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of microdiamonds covering the entire area with inset showing twins whose density is controlled by quenching rates, according to one example.

FIG. 58 shows nanoneedles and microneedles from pure undoped sample with inset characteristic diamond EBSD pattern and orientation from the spot indicated, according to one example.

FIG. 59 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of nanodiamonds, flat nanodiamond nanoplates, and perpendicular nanoplates of diamond with inset diamond EBSD Kikuchi pattern and orientation, according to one example.

FIG. 60 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of a mixture of nanodiamonds and nanoplates of diamond, according to one example.

FIG. 61 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of microdiamonds from N-doped samples containing twins, according to one example.

FIG. 62 shows nanoneedles and microneedles from N-doped sample with inset characteristic diamond pattern and orientation, according to one example.

FIG. 63 shows Raman spectra for different N-doping by varying nitrogen pressure after laser treatment, including undoped control sample, according to one example.

FIG. 64 shows Raman spectra for different N-doping by changing the N2+ ion flux after laser treatment, including the control (before laser annealing) sample, according to one example.

FIG. 65 shows Raman spectra for change in Raman shift, down shift due to size (nanorange) and upshift as a result of quenched-in stress, according to one example.

FIG. 66 shows a PL spectrum containing ZPL from NV (637 nm) and NV0 (575 nm) defects, with an inset (100× magnification) showing transitions when the sample is irradiated with 532 nm PL source.

FIG. 67 shows Carrier concentration plotted as 1/T.

FIG. 68 shows Hall mobility as a function of T.

FIG. 69 is a graph showing electrical pumping of NV centers using 14 mW laser power (532 nm excitation wavelength), according to one example.

FIG. 70 is a graph showing PL spectra of NV diamond in 0-21 V external electric field, according to one example.

FIG. 71 is a graph showing optical and electrical pumping of NV centers using 532 nm laser, according to one example.

FIG. 72 is a flow chart depicting an example of a process for quenching from a super undercooled state to form one or more structures of material.

FIG. 73 is a flow chart depicting an example of a process for quenching from a super undercooled state to form one or more structures incorporating one or more dopants at concentrations exceeding thermodynamic solubility limits.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Certain aspects and features of the present disclosure are directed to converting carbon into graphene, diamond, and/or a phase of carbon from which diamond structures can grow or nucleate. In some examples, the phase of carbon can be referred to as quenched-in carbon (“Q-Carbon”). Q-carbon can include nanodiamond nuclei, which can provide a seed for growth of nanodiamond, microdiamond, single-crystal diamond nanoneedles or microneedles, and single-crystal diamond films.

Carbon can be converted to Q-carbon by pulsed laser annealing and utilizing energy densities in the melting regime. In some examples, carbon can be directly converted into Q-carbon by irradiating a carbon film with a nanosecond laser. The carbon film can be on a substrate (e.g., a sapphire, glass, plastic, polymer, tungsten carbide, silicon, copper, stainless steel, or titanium nitride substrate). The laser can melt the carbon film and create a highly undercooled phase. The highly undercooled phase can cause a highly undercooled carbon layer to form near the carbon film and substrate interface. The carbon film can be cooled and retained at room temperature. Cooling the carbon film from the highly undercooled phase to room temperature can form a phase of carbon (e.g., Q-carbon). Q-carbon can be a state of solid carbon with a higher mass density than amorphous or diamond-like carbon. The Q-carbon can have a structure that has a mixture of four-fold sp3 bonded carbon and some three-fold sp2 bonded carbon. In some examples, the relative fraction for sp3 bonded carbon can vary from seventy percent to eighty-five percent. The Q-carbon can have enhanced mechanical, chemical, and physical properties, including, for example, enhanced hardness, enhanced electrical conductivity, enhanced room-temperature ferromagnetism (“RTFM”), enhanced field emission, and enhanced electron emission (e.g., negative electron affinity). In some examples, the Q-carbon can be harder than diamond. For example, from covalent bond length determinations, the Q-carbon may be harder than diamond. As an example, the Q-carbon may have a shorter average carbon-carbon length than diamond (e.g., less than 0.154 nm). For example, the average carbon-carbon bond length can be between 0.142 nm and 0.146 nm. As another example, the average carbon-carbon length can be between 0.142 nm and 0.154 nm. In some examples, the Q-carbon may be a semiconductor. In other examples, the Q-carbon can be metallic. In still another example, the Q-carbon may exhibit robust ferromagnetism.

In some examples, nanodiamond nuclei can be embedded in the Q-carbon. The nanodiamond nuclei and lattice matching substrates can provide a seed for growth of a diamond microstructure, diamond nanostructure, or single-crystal diamond sheet. For example, the nanodiamond nuclei can provide a seed for growth of a nanodiamond, microdiamond, single-crystal diamond nanoneedle or microneedle, or large-area single-crystal diamond sheet. In some examples, a subsequent laser pulse can be applied to the Q-carbon. The subsequent laser pulse can cause nanodiamond on the Q-carbon to grow into microdiamond and nucleate other diamond structures (e.g., diamond nanoneedles, diamond microneedles and large-area single-crystal diamond sheets) on the microdiamond.

Diamond microstructures, diamond nanostructures, and single-crystal diamond sheets can be formed from super undercooled carbon depending on various factors, including, for example, the nucleation time and the growth time allowed for diamond formation, laser parameters, or the properties and characteristics of the substrate. Table 1, shown below, provides example parameters for forming diamond structures using ArF Excimer laser (193 nm wavelength and 20 ns pulse duration). The thermal conductivity of the substrate should be low enough to confine the laser energy into the carbon film.

TABLE 1
Parameters for diamond growth from super undercooled carbon using
ArF (193 nm wavelength and 20 ns pulse duration) Excimer Laser
StructureNucleation/Growth timeLaser Parameters
Nanodiamond 1-5 ns0.5 Jcm−2-0.8 Jcm−2
Microdiamond 50-100 ns0.6 Jcm−2-0.8 Jcm−2
Nanoneedle100-150 ns0.5 Jcm−2-0.8 Jcm−2
Microneedle200-250 ns0.5 Jcm−2-0.8 Jcm−2
Single-crystal film100-250 ns0.6 Jcm−2-0.8 Jcm−2

The diamond microstructures, nanostructures, and single-crystal sheet can each be integrated on a substrate (e.g., a planar matching substrate, such as sapphire). Diamond structures formed from Q-carbon can have various enhanced characteristics including, for example, enhanced electron emission properties.

In some examples, carbon can be converted into Q-carbon at ambient temperatures (e.g., room temperature) and atmospheric pressure in air (e.g., pressure of a surrounding medium, including, for example, air). The conversion of carbon to Q-carbon may occur in the absence of any catalyst or in the absence of hydrogen. For example, carbon can be converted into Q-carbon by irradiating an amorphous (e.g., diamond-like) carbon film with a nanosecond laser. The laser can provide a nanosecond laser pulse that can melt the amorphous carbon film. Using the nanosecond laser pulses to melt the amorphous carbon film can create a highly undercooled state, which can cause a highly undercooled carbon layer to form near an interface between the carbon film and the substrate. Quenching the carbon while in the highly undercooled state may cause the highly undercooled carbon layer to break into a cellular (e.g., filamentary) structure, which can create Q-carbon from which various forms of diamond can be formed. The diamond can be in the form of a nanodiamond (e.g., a diamond that has a size range of less than 100 nanometers (nm)). In another example, carbon can be converted into diamond in the form of a microdiamond (e.g., a diamond that has a size range of greater than 100 nm). In still another example, carbon can be converted into diamond in the form of a nanoneedle or microneedle. In some examples, a diamond microneedle can have a length of up to 2000 nm. In another example, a diamond microneedle or diamond nanoneedle may be a diamond with a diameter between 80 nm to 500 nm and a length between 2000 nm to 3000 nm. In other examples, diamond microstructures can be formed from the Q-carbon including, for example, diamond nanodots, nanorods, or large-area single-crystal diamond films.

In some examples, creating a highly undercooled state of amorphous carbon can modify the equilibrium phase diagram of carbon. For example, creating the highly undercooled state can shift the graphite, diamond, and liquid carbon triple point from a high-pressure and temperature to low pressures and temperatures. Quenching or cooling the amorphous carbon from the highly undercooled state can cause a nanodiamond to nucleate in the bulk (by homogeneous nucleation) or on a substrate (by heterogeneous nucleation). In some examples, a microdiamond may grow out of the highly undercooled state of the amorphous carbon. For example, a nanodiamond may act as a seed crystal for growing the microdiamond. In certain examples, diamonds formed from the amorphous carbon may have various enhanced characteristics and properties (e.g., ferromagnetism at room-temperature and higher, enhanced hardness, enhanced electron emission and catalytic properties).

In some examples, an amorphous metastable phase of carbon can be converted into Q-carbon at ambient temperatures and atmospheric pressure in air. The amorphous carbon can include bonding characteristics that may be a mixture of graphite (e.g., sp2 bonded) and diamond (e.g., sp3 bonded). In some examples, the amorphous carbon can be on a substrate, including, for example, a sapphire, a plastic or a glass substrate. The amorphous carbon can be melted at a low temperature (e.g., at 4000K or more than 1000K below the melting point of crystalline carbon or graphite) to create a highly undercooled state of carbon liquid. In some examples, the highly undercooled state can be created by irradiating the amorphous carbon using a nanosecond laser. The laser can be a nanosecond Excimer pulsed laser or an equivalent energy source (e.g., ArF Excimer laser (wavelength 193 nm or photon energy of 6 eV and pulse duration 20 ns)). Nanosecond laser pulses from the laser can melt the amorphous carbon film and create the highly undercooled state. The highly undercooled state can cause a highly undercooled carbon layer to form near an interface between the carbon film and the substrate. In some examples entire layer of carbon can be converted into the Q-carbon phase. In some examples, diamond nanocrystallites can be nucleated from four-fold coordinated (sp3 bonded) carbon present in the highly undercooled state of the amorphous carbon. Undercooling the amorphous carbon can shift the amorphous carbon, diamond, and liquid carbon triple point to 4000K or lower at ambient pressures (e.g., pressure of a surrounding medium). At temperatures below 4000K, Gibbs free energy of amorphous carbon can equal the free energy of highly undercooled liquid and metastable diamond phase that is quenched and retained at room temperature. In some examples, the amorphous carbon can be metallic in the highly undercooled state, which can cause the carbon atoms to be closely packed with a significant shrinkage. In some examples, packing the carbon atoms can cause the amorphous carbon to have a mass density and hardness that is greater than that of diamond. The amorphous carbon can be quenched to room temperature after a period of time in the undercooled phase. Quenching the amorphous carbon from the undercooled phase to room temperature can form Q-carbon. A subsequent laser pulse can be applied to the Q-carbon. The subsequent laser pulse can melt the Q-carbon and create a highly undercooled state. The Q-carbon can be quenched from the highly undercooled state to room temperature. Quenching the Q-carbon can form diamond microstructures, diamond nanostructures, and single-crystal diamond sheets. Diamond microstructures, diamond nanostructures, and single-crystal diamond sheets may be formed depending on a number of factors, including, for example, parameters of the nanosecond pulsed laser, orientation of the substrate, the amount of time in the undercooled phase, nucleation time and growth time allowed for diamond formation, etc.

In some examples, shrinkage and internal melting of the amorphous carbon while in the undercooled state can cause bubbles to form. The bubbles may burst and allow a single-crystal diamond microneedle or nanoneedle to grow out of the bubbles, depending on a size of the bubble. In another example, a microneedle can be formed from the Q-carbon through explosive recrystallization, where nanodiamonds nucleate from the Q-carbon and grow rapidly by liquid mediated explosive recrystallization. In some examples, a diamond microneedle can have a length of up to 2000 nm. In another example, a diamond microneedle or nanoneedle may be a diamond with a diameter between 80 nm to 500 nm and a length between 2000 nm to 3000 nm. In some examples, the diamond microneedle or nanoneedle may have a growth velocity between 5 ms−1 and 10 ms-1. In another example, the diamond microneedle or nanoneedle may have a melt lifetime between about 250 ns to 500 ns.

In certain examples, nanodiamond crystals can nucleate from the undercooled state and can provide a seed for growth of nanodiamond, microdiamond, diamond nanoneedles, diamond microneedles, or single-crystal diamond films. In some examples, the undercooling state may be retained for a sufficient period of time to allow nanodiamond, microdiamond, diamond nanoneedles, diamond microneedles, or single-crystal diamond films to nucleate and grow.

The laser heating of the amorphous carbon can be confined spatially and temporally. Confining the laser heating of the amorphous carbon can allow diamond structures (e.g., microdiamonds, nanodiamonds, diamond microneedles, diamond nanoneedles, diamond films, etc.) formed from the amorphous carbon to be deposited on heat-sensitive substrates (e.g., low thermal conductivity substrates, including, for example, sapphire, silicon, plastic, or glass). In another example, converting carbon into Q-carbon, nanodiamond, microdiamond, diamond nanoneedles, diamond microneedles, or single-crystal diamond films can allow the integration of diamond thin film based devices with silicon based microelectronic and nanoelectronic devices.

Directly converting carbon into diamond at ambient pressures and temperatures in air can increase production volume of diamond and can reduce costs associated with producing diamonds. Directly converting carbon into diamond at ambient pressures and temperatures in air may also enhance the synthesis and processing of nanodiamonds and microdiamonds for various applications, including, for example, abrasive powders, protective coatings, catalytic properties, display devices, biomedical and microelectronic and nanoelectronic applications, photonics, etc. Directly converting carbon into diamond nanoneedles and microneedles may enhance the production of field emission based devices and may be beneficial for biomedical applications (e.g., minimally invasive transdermal medical devices for various applications, including, for example, drug delivery, fluid sampling, micro-dialysis, electrochemical sensing, etc.). In other examples, directly converting carbon into large-area single-crystal diamond films can allow n-type doping (e.g., adding an impurity that contributes free electrons and increases conductivity) and p-type doping (e.g., adding an impurity that can create a deficiency of valence electrons) of the diamond films with concentrations far higher than thermodynamic solubility limits, which may enhance the processing of high-power devices and high-power transistors.

These illustrative examples are given to introduce the reader to the general subject matter discussed here and are not intended to limit the scope of the disclosed concepts. The following sections describe various additional features and examples with reference to the drawings in which like numerals indicate like elements, and directional descriptions are used to describe the illustrative examples but, like the illustrative examples, should not be used to limit the present disclosure.

FIG. 1A is a graph depicting an example of a carbon phase diagram 100. The carbon phase diagram 100 includes an inset 102. Inset 102 depicts an example of a carbon phase diagram at low pressures. In the carbon phase diagram 100, graphite, diamond, liquid, and vapor can be thermodynamically stable forms of carbon. At low pressures, graphite can convert into vapor around 4000K. In the carbon phase diagram 100, diamond synthesis from liquid carbon can require higher temperatures and pressures as the graphite, diamond, and liquid carbon triple point occurs at 5000K and 12 GPa, where 1 GPa is equal to 9869 Atm. Based on the carbon phase diagram 100, diamond can exist in the interiors of the outer planets (e.g., Uranus and Neptune) and Earth's mantle, where pressure and temperature are 600 GPa and 7000K; and 135 GPa and 3500K, respectively. In the carbon phase diagram 100, graphite can be transformed into diamond above about 2000K at 6 to 10 GPa using liquid metal catalysts, which can be used for commercial synthesis of diamond. In some examples, carbon polymorphs can exist metastably well into a pressure-temperature region, where a different phase is thermodynamically stable. As an example, diamond can survive indefinitely at room temperature, where graphite is the stable form.

FIG. 1A also depicts a shift 104 in the carbon phase diagram 100. In some examples, carbon can be melted at a low temperature (e.g., more than 1000K less than the melting point of crystalline carbon). Melting carbon at a low temperature can create a highly undercooled state of carbon liquid, which can be of metallic nature. The highly undercooled state can be created by irradiating the carbon using a nanosecond laser. The laser can be a nanosecond Excimer pulsed laser. For example, a nanosecond laser pulse from the laser can melt the carbon and create the highly undercooled state. Creating the highly undercooled state can modify the carbon phase diagram 100. For example, creating the highly undercooled state can cause the shift 104. The shift 104 can represent a shift in the carbon, diamond, and liquid carbon triple point. The shift 104 can be a shift in the triple point from high-pressure and temperature to low pressures and temperature. In some examples, the carbon, diamond, and liquid carbon triple point can be shifted to 4000K or lower at ambient atmospheric pressures.

In some examples, quenching or cooling the amorphous carbon from the highly undercooled state to room temperature can create a phase of carbon. In some examples, the phase of carbon can be referred to as Q-Carbon. Q-carbon can be a state of solid carbon with a structure that has a mixture of four-fold sp3 bonded carbon and sp2 bonded carbon. In some examples, the Q-carbon can have a structure that has a mixture of mostly four-fold sp3 bonded carbon and some three-fold sp2 bonded carbon (distinct entropy). The Q-carbon can have enhanced magnetic, mechanical, chemical, and physical properties, including, for example, enhanced room-temperature ferromagnetism (“RTFM”) and enhanced field emission. In some examples, the Q-carbon can be harder than diamond. For example, from covalent bond length determinations, the Q-carbon may be harder than diamond (e.g., the Q-carbon can have a shorter average carbon-carbon bond length than diamond). In some examples, the relative hardness of the Q-carbon as measured by Hysitron Nanoindentor can be over 60% higher than that of diamond-like amorphous carbon.

In some examples, a subsequent laser pulse can be applied to the Q-carbon. The subsequent laser pulse can create a highly undercooled state. Quenching or cooling the Q-carbon from the highly undercooled state can cause graphene or various forms of diamond (e.g., diamond nanoneedles, microneedles, single-crystal films, nanodots, or nanorods) to form. Various forms of diamond can form from super undercooled state of carbon depending on various factors, including, for example, the nucleation and growth times allowed for diamond formation. In some examples, a nanodiamond can act as a seed crystal for growing a microdiamond.

FIG. 1B shows thermodynamic Gibbs free energy variation as a function of temperature for Graphite (Gg), Liquid Carbon (Gliq) and Diamond (Gd). It depicts equilibrium carbon melting temperature of Tgl (˜5000K) where liquid carbon free energy (Gliq) equals (Gg), Tdl (slightly above 4000K) where super undercooled carbon liquid can be quenched into diamond in various nanostructures and microstructures, and T* (slightly below 4000K) where super undercooled carbon liquid can be quenched into Q-carbon.

FIG. 2 is a top view of a scanning electron microscope (“SEM”) micrograph showing a cellular structure of a Q-carbon filament. In some examples, the Q-carbon filament can be formed after a laser pulse is applied to amorphous carbon. The amorphous carbon can be on a substrate, including, for example, a sapphire substrate, a plastic substrate, a glass substrate, or composite substrate consisting of copper/sapphire (“Cu/Sapphire”) or copper/titanium nitride/silicon (“Cu/TiN/Si”). The laser pulse can be provided by a nanosecond Excimer pulsed laser (e.g., an ArF Excimer laser). The laser can have a wavelength of 193 nm. The laser can have a pulse duration of 20 nanoseconds (ns). The energy density of the laser pulse can be 0.5 Jcm−2. The Q-carbon filament can have a size of 200 nm to 500 nm across. In another example, a similar microstructure of Q-carbon filament can be formed by applying a laser pulse with an energy density of 0.6 Jcm−2 to the amorphous carbon. The Q-carbon filament can have enhanced mechanical, chemical, and physical properties, including, for example, enhanced hardness, enhanced electrical conductivity, enhanced room-temperature ferromagnetism (“RTFM”), enhanced field emission (e.g., negative surface potential), and enhanced electron emission (e.g., negative electron affinity). As an example, the Q-carbon can have enhanced ferromagnetism with a Curie temperature over 500K. In another example, the Q-carbon can have enhanced ferromagnetism with a Curie temperature over 550K. In another example, the Q-carbon can have enhanced ferromagnetism with a Curie temperature over 500K. The Q-carbon may have a density that is greater than the amorphous carbon. In some examples, the Q-carbon can be harder than diamond. In some examples, the Q-carbon can have a matrix of mostly sp3 bonded amorphous carbon. In some examples, nanodiamond nuclei or diamond nanocrystallites can nucleate from or be embedded within the four-fold coordinated (sp3 bonded) Q-carbon. For example, FIG. 3 is an image showing formation of a nanodiamond.

In some examples, the nanodiamond nuclei or lattice matching substrate can provide a seed for growth of nanodiamonds, microdiamonds, diamond nanoneedles, diamond microneedles, or large-area single-crystal diamond sheets. For example, FIG. 4 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing growth of microdiamonds from a Q-carbon filament that contained nanodiamond nuclei (e.g., the Q-carbon filament of FIG. 2). In the example shown in FIG. 4, the Q-carbon filament can be formed by applying a single laser pulse with a wavelength of 193 nm, a pulse duration of 20 ns and an energy density of 0.6 Jcm−2 to amorphous carbon. In some examples, the microdiamonds formed from the Q-carbon can have a size greater than 100 nm. In the example shown in FIG. 4, the size of each microdiamond can be between 500 nm and 600 nm.

In some examples, an area near the middle of the laser irradiated amorphous carbon can include a high density of nanodiamonds and microdiamonds. For example, FIG. 5 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing an area near the middle of an irradiated amorphous carbon that includes a high density of nanodiamonds and microdiamonds. In some examples, a nanodiamond can have a size of less than 100 nm. In the example shown in FIG. 5, each nanodiamond can have a size between 10 nm and 20 nm. In another example, nanodiamonds formed from a Q-carbon can be of other sizes. For example, FIG. 6 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing formation of nanodiamonds from a Q-carbon. In the example shown in FIG. 6, each nanodiamond can have a diameter between 2 nm and 8 nm.

In some examples, an area near the irradiated amorphous carbon can include a high density of mostly microdiamonds. For example, FIG. 7 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing an area near the middle of an irradiated amorphous carbon that includes mostly microdiamonds. In some examples, microdiamonds may cover an entire area of the amorphous carbon.

In some examples, a subsequent laser pulse can be applied to the Q-carbon. The subsequent laser pulse can cause nanodiamond formation on the Q-carbon to grow microdiamond and nucleate other diamond structures. For example, a nanodiamond can provide, or act as, a seed crystal for growth of microdiamond. As an example, FIG. 8 is a top view of a SEM micrograph showing a Q-carbon filament growing microdiamond through the growth of nanodiamonds. In some examples, a nanodiamond that acts as a seed for growth of the microdiamonds may exist on the Q-carbon filament prior to the subsequent laser pulse being applied to the Q-carbon.

FIG. 9 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing formation of nanodiamonds by homogeneous nucleation and on top of existing microdiamonds formed by heterogeneous nucleation. In some examples, homogeneous nucleation may occur prior to applying the subsequent laser pulse to the Q-carbon. In some examples, heterogeneous nucleation may occur after the subsequent laser pulse is applied to the Q-carbon. In the example shown in FIG. 9, nanodiamonds 900, 902, 904, 906 can be formed by heterogeneous nucleation. In some examples, the nanodiamonds formed by homogeneous nucleation can be formed between the Q-carbon filament. For example, FIG. 10 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing formation of nanodiamonds by homogeneous nucleation between Q-carbon filaments. In the example shown in FIG. 10, the nanodiamonds can have a size between 10 nm and 20 nm.

In some examples various diamond structures can be formed from the Q-carbon. For example, nanodots and nanorods can form from the Q-carbon. As an example, FIG. 11 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing diamond nanodots and nanorods nucleating from Q-carbon. In some examples, a laser pulse can be applied to the Q-carbon after the Q-carbon is formed from the amorphous carbon. The laser pulse may cause the Q-carbon to melt while microdiamonds on the Q-carbon may not melt. Melting the Q-carbon while not melting the microdiamonds can allow the diamond nanodots and nanorods to nucleate from the Q-carbon.

In some examples, most of a Q-carbon filament can be converted into microdiamonds or nanodiamonds. For example, FIG. 12 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing microdiamonds forming when most of a Q-carbon filament is converted into diamond.

FIG. 13 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing a full conversion of amorphous Q-carbon into a string of microdiamonds. In the example shown in FIG. 13, at least a portion of the Q-carbon may have microdiamonds embedded within the Q-carbon. In some examples, microdiamonds embedded into the Q-carbon within the Q-carbon may not be converted completely into diamond.

FIG. 14 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing a triple point of a Q-carbon filament and the nucleation of diamond. In some examples, the triple point of the Q-carbon filament may provide a site for enhanced nucleation of nanodiamonds, microdiamonds, diamond nanoneedles, diamond microneedles, or large-area single-crystal diamond sheets.

FIG. 15 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing heterogeneous nucleation of nanodiamonds after a laser pulse is applied to the Q-carbon and diamond. In some examples, stepped and high-index surfaces on the Q-carbon may provide more nucleation sites for growth of nanodiamonds, microdiamonds, diamond nanoneedles, diamond microneedles, or large-area single-crystal diamond sheets.

FIG. 16 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing formation of microdiamonds and some nanodiamonds after a laser pulse. In some examples, the nanodiamonds may nucleate on microdiamonds existing on the Q-carbon filament prior to applying the subsequent laser pulse. In the example shown in FIG. 16, the nanodiamonds and microdiamonds may be of different morphology. The nanodiamonds and microdiamonds may nucleate after two laser pulses are applied to the Q-carbon. In some examples, each laser pulse can have an energy density of be 0.6 Jcm−2.

FIG. 17 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing microdiamonds covering an entire region of a super undercooled carbon. In some examples, nanodiamonds may form on top of the microdiamonds.

In some examples, a single-crystal diamond sheet can be formed from the Q-carbon. For example, FIG. 18 is a top view of an SEM micrograph showing formation of a large-area single-crystal diamond thin film on planar matching sapphire substrate. In some examples, the large-area single-crystal diamond film can be doped both n-type (e.g., adding an impurity that contributes free electrons and increases conductivity) and p-type doping (e.g., adding an impurity that can create a deficiency of electrons, known as holes). Doping the large-area single-crystal diamond thin film both n-type and p-type may enhance the processing of diamond transistors, high-power devices and high-power and high-temperature radiation resistant transistors.

In some examples, the large-area single-crystal diamond thin film can be formed when an epitaxial copper template is provided by using Copper/Titanium Nitride/Silicon (“Cu/TiN/Si”) heterostructures. In another example, a copper template can be lattice matched with diamond in the absence of alloying effects for growing diamonds structures from the Q-carbon. For example, FIG. 19 is an image of an SEM micrograph showing diamond growing on a copper substrate, where diamond is epitaxially aligned with copper and grows as single crystal. The SEM image depicted in FIG. 19 also shows an Electron Backscatter Diffraction (“EBSD”) from the underlying copper substrate and diamond microneedles. As another example, FIG. 20 is an image of an SEM micrograph showing the formation of a diamond faceted pillar 2002 from super undercooled carbon.

FIG. 21 is a graph 2100 depicting an example of Raman spectra results from Q-carbon on a sapphire substrate after a laser pulse, according to one example. In some examples, the laser pulse can be a single laser pulse. The single laser pulse can be from an ArF Excimer laser. As an example, the energy density of the laser pulse can be 0.6 Jcm−2 and the wavelength of the laser pulse can be 193 nm. In graph 2100 a diamond peak may occur at 1333 cm−1 with a broad peak at about 1350 cm−1 along with a small peak at 1140 cm−1. In some examples, sp3 fraction of between seventy-six percent and eighty-one percent can be obtained by fitting the Raman spectrum depicted in graph 2100. In graph 2100, peaks S1 and S2 (occurring at 1360 cm−1 and 1375 cm−1, respectively) may belong to the sapphire substrate. In some examples, the graph 2100 may also indicate a slight upshift due to stress of the primary Raman peak and a bump at 1140 cm−1, which may be characteristic of sp2 bonded carbon at the grain boundaries or interfaces in a nanodiamond. In some examples, downshift in Raman peak may occur as the size of the diamond decreases as a result of phonon dispersion relations.

FIG. 22 is a graph 2200 depicting an example of Raman spectra results from microdiamond on sapphire substrate after a laser pulse, according to one example. In some examples, the laser pulse can be a single laser pulse. The single laser pulse can be from an ArF Excimer laser. As an example, the energy density of the laser pulse can be 0.6 Jcm−2 and the wavelength of the laser pulse can be 193 nm. In graph 2200 a sharp diamond peak may occur at 1331.54 cm−1 along with sapphire peaks S1 and S2 (at 1360 cm−1 and 1375 cm−1, respectively). In some examples, the graph 2200 may also indicate a small G peak of residual unconverted amorphous graphite. In some examples, sp3 fraction of about fifty-two percent can be obtained by fitting the Raman spectrum depicted in graph 2200.

FIG. 23 is an image of a SEM micrograph image showing a cross-section transmission electron microscopy (“TEM”) sample of Q-carbon containing nanodiamonds and microdiamonds on a sapphire substrate, according to one example.

FIG. 24 is a high-resolution TEM (“HRTEM”) image showing a diamond single-crystal film and the corresponding <110> electron diffraction pattern, according to one example. The HRTEM image depicted in FIG. 24 includes an image of cross-sections of the microcrystallite, which depict individual <110> columns of diamond.

FIG. 25 is a HTREM image from Q-carbon that has a substantially amorphous structure with some nanodiamonds embedded into the Q-carbon.

FIG. 26 is a graph of an electron energy loss spectroscopy (“EELS”) spectrum from diamond, according to one example. The EELS spectrum depicted in FIG. 26 may contain a sharp edge at 288 eV with a peak at 292 eV. In some examples, the sharp edge and peak may correspond to sp3 bonding. The sp3 bonding may be characteristic of an EELS spectrum for a diamond.

FIG. 27 is a graph of an EELS spectrum from Q-carbon (e.g., the Q-carbon depicted in FIG. 25), according to one example. The EELS spectrum may have a sloping edge at 285 eV with a broad peak at 292 eV. In some examples, the EELS spectrum may indicate sp3 bonding of about eighty percent. The sp3 bonding may correspond to Raman results from Q-carbon (e.g., the Raman results depicted in FIG. 21).

As described above, in some examples, a diamond nanoneedle or microneedle can form from Q-carbon. In some examples, a diamond may grow from the Q-carbon in the form of a nanoneedle or a microneedle. The diamond nanoneedle or microneedle may grow from Q-carbon in the absence of any catalyst or in the absence of hydrogen. For example, FIG. 28 is a schematic diagram showing formation of diamond nanoneedle or microneedles 2802 from Q-carbon 2806. The Q-carbon 2806 can be formed by nanosecond laser melting of an amorphous carbon film 2804 and quenching the amorphous carbon film 2804 from an undercooled state to room temperature. In some examples, the carbon film 2804 can be on a substrate 2808 (e.g., a sapphire, plastic, glass, Cu/TiN/Si or Cu/Sapphire substrate).

FIG. 29 is an image of an SEM micrograph showing formation of diamond nanoneedles and diamond microneedles from super undercooled carbon. In the example shown in FIG. 29, an entire layer of amorphous carbon can be converted into nanoneedles and microneedles.

FIG. 30 is an image showing EBSD Kikuchi patterns from microdiamonds growing out of super undercooled carbon, according to one example. In some examples, a diamond microneedle or nanoneedle may grow from a microdiamond on the Q-carbon. In the example shown in FIG. 30, a diamond microneedle 3002 may form from the Q-carbon. The microneedle 3002 may have a length of up to two microns. In some examples, the microneedle 3002 may grow out of the Q-carbon formed near a sapphire interface through carbon over layers. In some examples, the diamond nanoneedle and microneedle may grow from the Q-carbon in the absence of a catalyst. In another example, the nanoneedle and microneedle may grow in the absence of hydrogen.

FIG. 31 is an image showing EBSD Kikuchi patterns from microneedle growing out of super undercooled carbon near a sapphire interface, according to another example. In the example shown in FIG. 31, a diamond nanoneedle or a microneedle 3102 may grow out of the super undercooled carbon. As an example, a nanoneedle having a diameter of 80 nm can grow out of the super undercooled carbon. In another example, a diamond microneedle having a diameter between 100 nm and 500 nm can grow out of the super undercooled carbon. In still another example, a diamond nanoneedle or microneedle having a length of up to 3000 nm can grow out of the super undercooled carbon

FIG. 32 is an image of an SEM micrograph showing high-number density of diamond microneedles 3202 forming from super undercooled carbon. In the example shown in FIG. 32, the inset shows an electron backscatter diffraction pattern of diamond along with a characteristic diamond Kikuchi pattern.

FIG. 33 is a graph depicting an example of Raman spectra results from diamond microneedles (e.g., the diamond microneedles depicted in FIG. 32). In the example shown in FIG. 33, the graph can indicate a sharp Raman diamond peak at 1136 cm−1, where all the amorphous carbon is converted into diamond.

FIG. 34 is an image of an SEM micrograph showing diamond nanoneedles and microneedles growing from super undercooled carbon on a sapphire substrate with inset EBSD and orientation diagram, according to one example.

In some examples, residual amorphous carbon can be etched away after diamond nanoneedles or microneedles form from the Q-carbon. For example, residual amorphous carbon can be etched away by oxygen plasma. Etching away residual amorphous carbon can provide more accurate data regarding formation of diamond nanoneedles or microneedles from Q-carbon. For example, FIG. 35 is an image of an SEM micrograph after residual amorphous carbon is etched away, which shows that nanoscale perturbation sets in quenched super undercooled carbon liquid to form nanodiamond structures. As another example, FIG. 36 is an image of an SEM micrograph after residual amorphous carbon is etched away, which shows formation of diamond nanoneedles and microneedles from Q-carbon. As still another example, FIG. 37 is an image of a SEM micrograph showing formation of nanoneedles and microneedles from super undercooled carbon phase after residual amorphous carbon is etched away, according to another example.

In some examples, etching away residual amorphous carbon can provide more accurate Raman spectra results (e.g., Raman spectra results without residual amorphous peaks). For example, FIG. 38 is a graph depicting an example of Raman spectra results from nanodiamond, microdiamond and large-area thin films without residual amorphous peaks (the nanodiamond Raman peak is down shifted slightly from the bulk peak).

In some examples, laser heating of amorphous carbon for forming Q-carbon can be confined spatially and temporally. Confining the laser heating of the amorphous carbon can allow diamonds or diamond films formed from the amorphous carbon to be deposited on heat-sensitive substrates (e.g., polymer substrates or low thermal conductivity substrates, including, for example, sapphire, silicon, plastic, or glass). For example, FIG. 39 is an image of a SEM micrograph showing microdiamonds and nanodiamonds on a high density polyethylene (“HDPE”) substrate. In some examples, the microdiamonds and nanodiamonds on the HDPE substrate can have an average grain size of 500 nm and 30 nm, respectively. In some examples, the diamond grains of the microdiamonds and nanodiamonds may contain high-index facets. The high-index facets may have catalytic properties. In some examples, the high-index facets may provide nucleation sites for subsequent diamond growth or formation.

FIG. 40 is a graph depicting an example of Raman spectra results before and after laser annealing an amorphous diamond-like carbon film. In some examples, the carbon film can be irradiated with a laser pulse having an energy density of 0.8 Jcm−2. In the graph depicted in FIG. 40, a diamond peak may occur at 1335 cm−1 along with a HDPE peak at 1464 cm−1 after the laser pulse is applied to the carbon film. In the graph depicted in FIG. 40, the Raman spectrum from the amorphous diamond-like carbon film can include a broad peak at around 1350 cm−1. In some examples, sp3 fraction of about forty-five percent before laser annealing can be obtained by fitting the Raman spectrum depicted in FIG. 40.

In some examples, a nanodiamond or microdiamond may form because of diamond phase from highly undercooled pure carbon. For example, for a homogeneous nucleation of diamond from highly undercooled state of pure carbon, the Gibbs free energy of diamond nuclei (ΔGT) consists of gain in volume energy (ΔGV) and expense of surface free energy (ΔGS) terms. The Gibbs free energy of diamond nuclei ΔGT can be determined by solving the following formula:


ΔGT=ΔGV+ΔGS

In the formula above, ΔGT can be rewritten as the following formula:

ΔGT=-43πr3ρMmΔHmTmΔTu+4πr2rs

In the formula above, r, is the radius of diamond nucleus

ρMmΔHmTmΔTu

is the gain in free energy for the formation of diamond nucleus from the undercooled state of the pure carbon, Tm is the melting point of carbon, ΔTu is the undercooling from the temperature of nucleation (e.g., a difference between Tm and the formation temperature (Tr)), ρ is the solid diamond density, Mm is the molar mass, ΔHm is the latent heat of melting, and rs is the surface free energy between diamond nuclei and undercooling carbon liquid.

In some examples, the maximum of ΔGT, ΔGT*, can correspond to the diamond reaction barrier at a critical size of the radius of diamond nucleus (“r*”). The ΔGT* and r* values can be determined by solving the following formulas:

r*=2rsTmMmΔHmΔTuρ ΔGT*=16πrs3Tm2Mm23ΔHm2ΔTu2ρ2

In some examples, the rate of nucleation (l) can be governed by the following formula:

I=Aexp-ΔGT*KTr

In the formula above, Tr=Tm−ΔTu, A=n(kT/h)exp(−ΔFA/kT), l equals the number of diamond nuclei cm−3s−1, n equals the number density of atoms, and ΔFA is the free energy of activation across the liquid-solid interface. In some examples, a 5 nm and a 10 nm diamond crystallite can have A values of 1025 cm−3s−1 and 1024 cm−3s−1, respectively. In some examples, the free energy of metastable diamond, highly undercooled carbon liquid, and amorphous diamond-like carbon can become equal at the formation temperature Tr.

In some examples, a large value of ΔTu can drive the critical size of the radius of diamond nucleus (r*) lower. Driving the critical size of the radius of diamond nucleus lower can enhance diamond nucleation. In other examples, the value of ΔGT* can be low, which may enhance the nucleation rate of a nanodiamond from the highly undercooled state of carbon. The nanodiamond may provide a seed for microdiamond growth.

FIG. 41 is a flow chart depicting an example of a process for converting carbon into a phase of carbon (e.g., Q-carbon) from which diamond structures can grow or nucleate.

In block 4102, a laser pulse is provided to amorphous carbon. In some examples, an amorphous carbon film can be irradiated with a nanosecond laser (e.g., an ArF Excimer laser). The amorphous carbon can include bonding characteristics that may be a mixture of graphite (e.g., sp2 bonded) and diamond (e.g., sp3 bonded). The amorphous carbon film may be irradiated with the nanosecond laser at room-temperature in air at atmospheric pressure. In some examples, the nanosecond laser can irradiate the amorphous carbon film using a single nanosecond laser pulse. The wavelength of the pulse can range between 193 nm and 308 nm. The pulse duration can range 20 ns to 60 ns. In some examples, the energy density of the laser pulse may vary. For example, the energy density of the laser pulse can be 0.5 Jcm−2 for forming a nanodiamond. In some examples, increasing the energy density of the laser pulse can create a microdiamond. For example, the energy density of the laser pulse can be 0.6 Jcm−2 for forming the microdiamond. The laser pulse can melt the amorphous carbon and create a highly undercooled state of the amorphous carbon. Undercooling the amorphous carbon can modify the equilibrium phase diagram of carbon (e.g., the carbon phase diagram 100 in FIG. 1). For example, undercooling the amorphous carbon can shift the graphite, diamond, and liquid carbon triple point on the equilibrium phase diagram from a high-pressure and temperature (e.g., 12 GPa and 5000K) to low pressures and temperatures (e.g., ambient pressures and temperatures in the range of 4000K). In some examples, shifting the graphite, diamond, and liquid carbon triple point to low pressures and temperatures may cause the Gibbs free energy of the amorphous carbon to equal the free energy of highly undercooled liquid and metastable diamond phase which is quenched and retained at room temperature. In some examples, the amorphous carbon film can be on a substrate (e.g., a sapphire, tungsten carbide (WC), steel, copper, glass, or polymer substrate). Undercooling the amorphous carbon can cause a highly undercooled carbon layer to form near the carbon film-substrate interface.

In block 4104, the amorphous carbon is quenched. In some examples, the amorphous carbon film can be quenched and retained at room temperature. Quenching the amorphous carbon film from the highly undercooled state to room temperature may create a phase of carbon (e.g., Q-carbon), which can grow a diamond structure.

In some examples, the Q-carbon can include nanodiamond nuclei which can provide a seed for growth of a nanodiamond, microdiamond, diamond nanoneedle, diamond microneedle, or single-crystal diamond film. In another example, a subsequent laser pulse can be applied to the Q-carbon. The subsequent laser pulse can create a highly undercooled state. Quenching or cooling the Q-carbon from the highly undercooled state can cause a nanodiamond, microdiamond, diamond nanoneedle, diamond microneedle, or single-crystal diamond film to form directly.

In some examples, quenching the Q-carbon can cause a nanodiamond to nucleate. The nanodiamond can nucleate and provide a seed for growth of microdiamond crystals. In some examples, the undercooled state may be retained for a sufficient period of time prior to quenching. Retaining the undercooled state for a sufficient period of time can allow diamond nanocrystallites to nucleate and grow. As an example, for a nanodiamond having a size of 10 nm, the period of time for growth may be between 5 ns and 10 ns. As another example, a diamond layer of unit cell thickness of 0.356 nm may be formed by melting and quenching 37 nm of Cu-2.0 at % amorphous carbon film.

In other examples, nanodiamond nuclei can be embedded in the Q-carbon. The nanodiamond nuclei can provide a seed for growth of diamond microstructures, diamond nanostructures, and single-crystal diamond sheets. For example, the nanodiamond nuclei can provide a seed for growth of diamond nanoneedles, diamond microneedles, and large-area single-crystal diamond sheets.

In some examples, increasing the carbon content of the amorphous carbon film (e.g., from 2.0 at % to 4 at %) can double the thickness of graphene or diamond layers. In still another example, nucleation and growth of diamond or the formation of graphene from the amorphous carbon film can depend on a number of factors including, for example, the parameters of the laser (e.g., energy density, wavelength and duration of the laser pulse), the characteristics of the amorphous carbon and film substrate, the extent of undercooling of the amorphous carbon film, and the sp3 content of the amorphous carbon film.

Q-carbon formed from the amorphous carbon film may have various enhanced characteristics and properties. For example, the Q-carbon can have enhanced mechanical, chemical, and physical properties, including, for example, enhanced hardness, enhanced electrical conductivity, enhanced room-temperature ferromagnetism (“RTFM”), enhanced field emission, and enhanced electron emission (e.g., negative electron affinity). In some examples, the Q-carbon can be harder than diamond. For example, from covalent bond length determinations, the Q-carbon may be harder than diamond. In some examples, the Q-carbon may be a semiconductor. In other examples, the Q-carbon may be metallic. In still another example, the Q-carbon may exhibit robust ferromagnetism. As an example, the Q-carbon can have enhanced ferromagnetism with a Curie temperature over 500K. In another example, the Q-carbon can have enhanced ferromagnetism with a Curie temperature over 550K.

Returning to FIG. 41, in some examples, the process for converting carbon into the phase of carbon further includes, in block 4106, integrating the diamond structure with a substrate. For example, the diamond structure can be integrated with a silicon based microelectronic device. In another example, the diamond structure can be integrated with a silicon based nanoelectronic device.

As an example, FIG. 42 is a flow chart depicting an example of a process for integrating a diamond structure with a substrate.

In block 4202, titanium nitride can be grown on silicon. In some examples, a layer of epitaxial titanium nitride can be grown on a silicon substrate. The titanium nitride can be grown by pulsed laser deposition, for example, utilizing KrF (248 nm wavelength) or ArF (193 nm wavelength). The epitaxial titanium nitride can have a lattice constant of 0.42 nm. The silicon can have a lattice constant of 0.543 nm. In some example, the layer of epitaxial titanium nitride can be grown on the silicon by domain matching epitaxy paradigm, where titanium nitride can grow epitaxially on the silicon substrate. For example, the epitaxial titanium nitride can be grown on the silicon substrate with over twenty-two percent lattice misfit by alternating 4/3 (e.g., corresponding to twenty-five percent misfit) and 5/4 (e.g., corresponding to twenty-percent misfit) domains of lattice planes with almost equal frequency. In some examples, the epitaxial titanium nitride layer can have low metallic resistivity (e.g., 15 μΩ-cm). In some examples, the epitaxial titanium nitride layer with low metallic resistivity can provide an effective diffusion barrier and a template for epitaxial growth of subsequent function layers.

In block 4204 a carbon doped copper layer can be grown on the titanium nitride. The copper layer can be grown by pulsed laser deposition, for example, utilizing KrF or ArF. In some examples, the carbon doped copper layer can have a lattice constant of 0.360 nm. The carbon doped copper layer can be grown epitaxially on the titanium nitride by matching seven lattice planes of copper with six lattice planes of titanium nitride, which may correspond to 7/6 domain matching epitaxy to accommodate over fifteen percent lattice misfit. In some examples, the epitaxial titanium nitride layer can be a robust diffusion barrier layer, which can protect an underlying silicon substrate (e.g., the silicon substrate in block 4102). For example, the epitaxial titanium nitride layer can protect the silicon substrate from any contamination from the carbon doped copper layer.

In block 4206, the carbon doped copper layer can be melted to form Q-carbon, which can grow a diamond structure. In some examples, the carbon doped copper layer can be melted by pulsed laser annealing (e.g., by utilizing a nanosecond Excimer pulsed laser). The carbon doped copper layer can be melted by utilizing energy densities in the melting regime. In some examples, the melted carbon can be zone refined to surface and grow epitaxially as graphene or diamond depending on parameters (e.g., energy density) of the laser. The carbon doped layer can be melted to form Q-carbon, which can grow a diamond structure, in a manner substantially the same as the process for converting carbon into Q-carbon described in detail with respect to FIG. 41.

In some examples, the diamond structure can be integrated with a silicon based microelectronic device. In another example, the diamond structure can be integrated with a silicon based nanoelectronic device. In some examples the diamond structures can provide a template for the growth of cubic boron nitride (“c-BN”).

In some aspects, methods for converting carbon into a phase of carbon which can grow or nucleate diamond are provided according to one or more of the following examples:

EXAMPLE #1

Diamond-like carbon films (e.g., amorphous carbon films) can be deposited on sapphire (e.g., sapphire that is c-plane polished both sides), SiO2/Si(100) and glass substrates by using an ArF laser. The ArF laser can provide a laser pulse for ablation. The laser pulse can have a wavelength of 193 nm. The laser pulse can have an energy density of 3.0 Jcm−2. The ArF laser can provide the laser pulse for a duration of 20 ns. A second laser pulse can melt the deposited carbon films to a thickness between 50 nm and 500 nm. The diamond-like carbon films can be characterized by transmission electron microscopy and Raman spectra. The diamond-like carbon films may be amorphous containing Raman signature with estimated Sp3fraction over fifty percent. The diamond-like carbon films can be irradiated in air with ArF laser pulses. Each laser pulse can have a wavelength of 193 nm. Each laser pulse can have an energy density of 0.6 Jcm−2. Each laser pulse can have a duration of 20 ns. The diamond-like carbon films can be characterized by high-resolution scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and Raman spectroscopy.

Embodiments also include methods for synthesis and processing of pure and/or nitrogen doped (or “N-doped”) diamonds (e.g., diamonds having a nitrogen-vacancy (“NV”) center (or “NV defect”)) with sharp NV0 and NV transitions at ambient temperatures and pressures in air. Pure and nitrogen doped nanodiamonds are non-toxic, and have enhanced electronic, magnetic, optical and mechanical properties with applications ranging, for example, from drug delivery and fluorescent biomarkers to single-photon sensors and quantum computing, nanoscale electronic and magnetic sensing, single-spin nuclear magnetic resonance, nanoscale thermometry, nanomagnetometers and nanosensors. The NV center in diamond is a point defect in diamond with C3v symmetry consisting of substitutional nitrogen and vacancy pair along <111> directions. Considering <110> chains, one of the links consists of a substitutional nitrogen and a lattice vacancy, as illustrated in FIGS. 51 and 52.

FIG. 51 illustrates the atomic structure of an NV defect in the <110> chains of diamond, and FIG. 52A illustrates the structure of an NV defect in the diamond tetrahedron contained in the half (a/2, a/2, a/2) unit cell. FIG. 52B illustrates the structure of an NV defect in the diamond tetrahedron contained in the half (a/2, a/2, a/2) unit cell where one of the carbon (e.g., carbon 5202 in FIG. 52A) is replaced by magnetic isotope carbon-13 (or 13C) 5204. These NV centers in diamond are stable, and can be used, for example, for reliable and robust electronic, optical and magnetic nanoscale devices and systems operating at room temperature. The NV center is a deep-level defect, and it exists in neutral NV0 state and magnetically active NV state with a trapped electron. Unique features of the NV center are derived from spin triplet ground state and dependence of fluorescence on spin orientation. The Electron Paramagnetic Resonance (“EPR”) spectrum of a single NV center can be detected and shifts of the EPR spectra can be measured from perturbations in electric and magnetic fields, temperature, spatial orientation, strain and pressure. The magnetically active NV defects are characterized by optical zero phonon line (“ZPL”) at 1.945 eV (637 nm), whereas NV0 has ZPL at 2.156 eV (575 nm). Associated vibronic bands extend ZPLs to lower and higher energy absorption and emission.

The magnetically active NV is also characterized by zero-field magnetic resonance at ˜2.88GHz, which occurs between ms=0 and ms=±1 spins with a g-factor of 2.0028 associated with A2 ground state. The optically detected magnetic resonance (“ODMR”) of NV at ˜1.42 GHz is attributed to 3E ground state with g-factor of 2.01. Because NV is magnetically active, its luminescence can be controlled by the magnetic field for various applications including, for example, single-photon sensors, nanoscale electronic and magnetic sensing, single-spin nuclear magnetic resonance, nanoscale thermometry, fluorescent biomarkers, quantum computing and nanosensors. It may be desirable to perform controlled synthesis of pure and NV-doped diamonds for these and/or other applications. It may be also be desirable to perform controlled synthesis of pure and NV-doped diamonds where NV defects can be located individually in various diamond structures such as nanodiamonds (4-10 nm), nanoneedles, microneedles and thin films.

Embodiments include direct conversion of pure and N-doped carbon into pure and N-doped diamond, where diamond is in the form of single-crystal nanodiamonds, nanoneedles, microneedles and thin films. In some embodiments, nanodiamonds are formed by homogeneous or heterogeneous nucleation from the undercooled melt, where the size is dictated by the melt lifetime. Nanoneedles and microneedles can be formed as a result of interfacial instability of the crystallizing interface, which can be controlled by laser and substrate variables (e.g., thermal conductivity of the substrate). Single-crystal film structures can be created when a substrate can act as a template for epitaxial growth. These nanodiamonds can be arranged periodically in a self-organized fashion, which can be used, for example, in quantum devices. N-doped (NV diamond) nanostructures can be formed with concentrations exceeding solubility limits. Because diamond growth occurs from a liquid phase under ultrarapid quenching and solidification with velocity of the order of 5 m s-1, it is possible to trap NV defects beyond thermodynamic limits. A single NV defect in 5 nm or lower size diamond requires a higher concentration of nitrogen than its thermodynamic solubility limit of 2.0×10̂18 cm-3, which can be achieved by rapid quenching from the liquid, utilizing the phenomenon of solute trapping. The transitions between NV− and NV0 can be introduced electrically and optically by laser illumination. Embodiments include controlled doping of diamond with NV centers in a variety of nanostructures that can be used, for example, for many quantum nanotechnologies in physical and biological sciences, including single-photon sensors, quantum computing, nanoscale electronic and magnetic sensing, single-spin nuclear magnetic resonance, nanoscale thermometry, fluorescent biomarkers, nanomagnetometers and nanosensors.

Embodiments include methods for controlled synthesis of NV-doped diamonds by direct conversion of N-doped carbon into NV-doped diamond structures such as, for example, single-crystal nanodiamonds, nanoneedles, microneedles and/or thin films. In some such embodiments, one or more carbon films can be deposited by pulsed laser deposition on a substrate (e.g., planar matching substrates such as sapphire and silicon) to a desired thickness. In some embodiments, the layer thickness ranges from 5 nm to 500 nm. The carbon films can be doped with nitrogen by: (1) by adjusting the nitrogen partial pressure (5.0×10−3, 5.0×10−2, 5.0×10−1 Torr); and/or (2) by bombarding simultaneously with N2+ (0.5-1.0 KeV) during carbon thin film deposition. The N2+ ions break into atomic nitrogen atoms upon impact, which are buried inside the film. The nitrogen concentration can be adjusted by controlling the nitrogen partial pressure and/or by controlling the nitrogen ion current. In some embodiments, the deposited, doped films are irradiated with high-power nanosecond laser pulses with energy density 0.5-1.0 km−2, pulse duration 20-40 nanoseconds, and laser wavelength of 193 nm for ArF Excimer laser. The as-deposited and doped films are melted in the highly super undercooled state and then quenched (e.g., within 200-250 nanoseconds) to form NV-doped diamond.

In some embodiments, the NV-doped diamond can be formed with dopant concentrations exceeding solubility limits. Rapid quenching and solidification (e.g., with velocity of the order of 5 ms−1) from a liquid phase can trap NV defects beyond thermodynamic limits. For example, a single NV defect in 5 nm diamond may require solubility limit of 2.0×1018 Ncm−3, which can be achieved by rapid quenching (e.g., within 200-250 nanoseconds) from the liquid, utilizing the phenomenon of solute trapping.

By controlling the quenching from the liquid, NV-doped diamonds can be nucleated in the form of nanodiamonds (2-8 nm), microdiamonds (100-1000 nm), nanoneedles and microneedles up to 3000 nm long, and large-area thin films. NV-doped nanodiamonds, microdiamonds, nanoneedles, microneedles, and large area single crystal films can be formed from super undercooled carbon depending, for example, on the factors discussed above and with values similar to those shown in Table 1.

In some embodiments, the NV defects can be located individually in various diamond structures (e.g., as nanodiamonds (4 nm-10 nm), nanoneedles, microneedles and/or thin films) by, for example, controlling the nitrogen concentrations in the as-deposited films. Nitrogen is incorporated into the NV-doped diamond during rapid liquid-phase growth, where dopant concentrations can exceed the thermodynamic solubility limits, as discussed above. The number density of NV defects can be controlled by the nitrogen concentrations in the as-deposited films. A single NV defect in 5 nm diamond may require solubility limit in excess of 2.0×1018Ncm−3, which can be achieved by rapid quenching within 200-250 nanoseconds from the liquid, utilizing the phenomenon of solute trapping. The NV-doped diamond can be formed with sharp NV and NV0 transitions, and transitions between NV and NV0 can be introduced electrically and optically by laser illumination.

In some embodiments, a single-crystal substrate template is used to grow epitaxial NV diamond structures such as, for example, epitaxial single-crystal microdiamonds, nanoneedles, microneedles and large-area thin films.

In some embodiments, NV diamond structures can be placed deterministically on the substrate. In some examples, the NV diamond structures can be arranged periodically in a self-organized fashion (e.g., via self-assembly). In another example, strain driven placement can be used to deterministically place NV diamond structures on the substrate.

Embodiments providing controlled doping of diamond with NV centers in a variety of nanostructures can be used, for example, for various quantum nanotechnologies in physical and biological sciences (e.g., single-photon sensors, quantum computing, nanoscale electronic and magnetic sensing, single-spin nuclear magnetic resonance, nanoscale thermometry, fluorescent biomarkers and nanosensors).

It will be appreciated that, in some embodiments, different dopants can be used to create other types of doped diamonds, such as n-type and p-type doped diamonds. In some such embodiments, carbon films doped with an n-type dopant (e.g., Ni, P, As, or Sb—) can be directly converted into n-type doped diamond (e.g., n-type doped diamond with dopant concentrations exceeding far beyond the thermodynamic solubility limits) similar to the methods discussed above with respect to NV-doped diamonds. It will similarly be appreciated that p-type doped diamond by directly converting carbon films doped with a p-type dopant (e.g., boron and boron compounds) can be directly converted into p-type doped diamond (e.g., p-type doped diamond with dopant concentrations exceeding the thermodynamic solubility limits).

Embodiments also include methods for controlled synthesis of pure (or “un-doped”) diamonds by direct conversion of pure carbon into pure diamond. The pure diamonds can be in the form of single-crystal nanodiamonds, nanoneedles, microneedles and/or thin films. In some such embodiments, one or more carbon films can be deposited by pulsed laser deposition on planar matching substrates (e.g., copper, silicon, sapphire) to a desired thickness. In some embodiments, the layer thickness ranges from 5 nm to 500 nm. Subsequently, the films are irradiated with high-power nanosecond laser pulses with energy density 0.5-1.0 km−2, pulse duration 20-40 nanoseconds, and laser wavelength of 193 nm for ArF Excimer laser. The as-deposited and doped films are melted in the highly super undercooled state and then quenched within 200-250 nanoseconds to form pure diamond. By controlling the quenching from the liquid, pure diamonds can be nucleated in the form of nanodiamonds (2 nm-8 nm), microdiamonds (100 nm-1000 nm), nanoneedles and microneedles up to 3000 nm long, and large-area thin films. Pure nanodiamonds, microdiamonds, nanoneedles, microneedles, and large area single crystal films can be formed from super undercooled carbon depending, for example, on the factors discussed above and with values similar to those shown in Table 1.

In some embodiments, a single-crystal substrate template is used to grow epitaxial pure diamond structures such as, for example, epitaxial single-crystal microdiamonds, nanoneedles, microneedles and large-area thin films.

In some embodiments, pure diamond can be placed deterministically on the substrate. In some examples, the diamond structures can be arranged periodically in a self-organized fashion (e.g., via self-assembly). In another example, strain driven placement can be used to deterministically place diamond structures on the substrate.

With respect to FIGS. 53-66, the characterization of diamond phase was carried by using electron backscatter diffraction (“EBSD”), Raman spectroscopy (633 nm source), and photoluminescence (PL) with 325 nm source. Alfa300 R superior confocal Raman spectroscope with a lateral resolution less than 200 nm was employed to characterize the Raman active vibrational modes. Crystalline Si was used to calibrate the Raman spectra, which has its characteristic Raman peak at 520.6 cm−1. High resolution SEM with sub nanometer resolution was carried out using FEI Verios 460L SEM to characterize the as-deposited and the laser irradiated films. EBSD HKLNordlys detector with less than 10 nm lateral resolution was used to map out Kikuchi diffraction pattern in FEI Quanta 3D FEG instrument in as-deposited and laser annealed thin films.

FIGS. 53-55 show high-resolution SEM micrographs of nanodiamonds from pure undoped samples. FIG. 53 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of nanodiamonds with inset at a higher magnification, according to one example. The example depicted in FIG. 53 shows the formation of undoped nanodiamonds after a single laser pulse, where the average size varied from 2 nm to 8 nm, according to one example. These nanodiamonds nucleate from the highly undercooled carbon melt via homogeneous nucleation, and their size can be controlled by growth times during the quenching cycle. The larger sizes are formed as a result of heterogeneous nucleation, where sapphire acts as a template for diamond growth. Nanodiamonds are faceted down to this size range, as shown in the inset.

During the initial stages or incipient carbon melting, the melting occurs in the form of rings, creating a ring of nanodiamonds, such as ring 5402 shown in FIG. 54. FIG. 54 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of a mechanism of nanodiamond formation from Q-Carbon, according to one example. FIG. 54 also shows the formation of Q-carbon and nucleation of nanodiamonds from Q-carbon, according to one example. The larger diamond microcrystallites grow from the melt with increasing growth time. The nanodiamond growth around the super undercooled ring often has one larger nanodiamond (e.g., 5404), which is formed when two nucleation fronts around the ring collide, as shown in the inset at a higher magnification. The larger micro-diamonds (e.g., 5406) can be formed when sapphire substrate provides a template for epitaxial growth from super undercooled liquid.

FIG. 55 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of the formation of nanodiamonds during initial stages and EBSD pattern, showing characteristic diamond Kikuchi pattern, according to one example. The example depicted in FIG. 55 shows the initial stages of the formation of self-organized nanodiamonds, according to one example. The inset EBSD confirms the diamond crystal structure, showing the characteristic Kikuchi diffraction pattern for diamond. The formation of string like structure in a supercooled liquid may be a result of spatial heterogeneity and dynamic facilitation in the regions having high atomic mobility, corresponding to high diffusivity in liquid of the order of 10−4cm2s−1. Coherent motion of carbon atoms within micro strings may facilitate the creation of neighboring excitations leading to the formation of observed ring structure of liquid carbon from which nanodiamonds can be formed. Molecular dynamics simulations have shown string-like cooperative motion at temperatures well above the glass transition temperature. The mean length of the string increases upon cooling with nearly exponential distribution with temperature.

FIGS. 56 and 57 show high-resolution SEM micrographs of microdiamonds from pure undoped samples. FIG. 56 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of a mixture of nanodiamonds and microdiamonds, according to one example. The example depicted in FIG. 56 is a high-resolution SEM of undoped diamond nanocrystallites with average size 20 nm and microcrystallites with an average size of 500 nm, according to one example.

At a higher energy density, a full conversion of carbon into diamond microcrystallites is shown in FIG. 57, according to one example. in FIG. 57, the inset at a higher magnification shows the details of faceting and twinning in microcrystals. Such twinning in diamond can lead to improvements in catalytic and mechanical properties. Embodiments can vary the twin content by controlling the quenching rates from the melt, as shown, for example, by the formation of twins in the inset. The texture and orientation of these microcrystallites can be controlled by providing appropriate epitaxial template during growth from the liquid phase. In some embodiments, <111> oriented cubic diamond microcrystallites grow on (0001) sapphire, which are rotated with respect to each other by 30 degrees. The growth of three-fold cubic <111> diamond on hexagonal (0001) sapphire leads to twinning as result of two islands growing in a mirror symmetry.

FIG. 58 shows the formation of nanoneedles and microneedles as a result of interfacial instability during growth from the liquid phase, according to one example. These nanostructures are single-crystal without any large-angle grain boundaries, as result of interfacial instability during the initial stages of epitaxial growth with the underlying substrate template. Single-crystal nature of diamond is demonstrated by the Kikuchi diffraction pattern of the inset EBSD. The length of nanoneedles and microneedles is over three microns, which can occur as result of liquid phase growth with velocities around five meters per second.

FIGS. 59 and 60 show high-resolution SEM micrographs of nanodiamonds from N-doped samples. In some embodiments, after laser annealing of the as-deposited nitrogen-doped carbon layers, nanocrystals with an average size of 4-8 nm are formed, as shown, for example, in the high-resolution SEM micrograph in FIG. 59. FIG. 59 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of nanodiamonds, flat nanodiamond nanoplates, and perpendicular nanoplates of diamond with inset diamond EBSD Kikuchi pattern and orientation. FIG. 59 also shows the formation of diamond platelets, some of which grow flat (as shown by diamond platelet 5902) and others grow normal to the substrate (as shown by diamond platelet 5904), according to one example. The nanocrystals are faceted, which is similar to pure diamond nanocrystals. The characteristic diamond EBSD (electron backscatter diffraction) or Kikuchi pattern from a nanodiamond 5906 is shown in the inset, confirming the structure of the diamond phase and orientation. Assuming one nitrogen-vacancy complex (NV center) in 4 nm diamond, the concentrations of N and V (3.0×1019 cm−3 each) exceed thermodynamic limit of 2.0×1018 cm3 for nitrogen. Taking experimental value for the formation energy of a neutral vacancy in diamond to be 3.0 eV, the concentration is estimated to be ˜3.6×1019 cm−3 at 4000K. Thus NV centers with concentrations exceeding the solubility limits can be formed under quenching from the liquid through solute trapping phenomenon. The formation of two types of platelet crystals is also shown in FIG. 60. The faint contrast from flat diamond microcrystals is observed because these are formed near the sapphire interface and are buried under the carbon.

FIG. 61 is a high-resolution SEM micrograph of microdiamonds from N-doped samples containing twins. The example depicted in FIG. 61 shows a top view of a SEM micrograph showing formation of microcrystals of N-doped diamond, according to one example. In this example, microcrystals are formed with (0001) sapphire providing a template for epitaxial growth by domain matching epitaxy. The epitaxial relations of <111> diamond on (0001) sapphire are as follows: in-plane 19 (2d110) planes of diamond match with 20 (2d110) planes of sapphire.

FIG. 62 is a top view of a SEM micrograph showing formation of N-doped nanoneedles and microneedles, according to one example. From EBSD patterns, these nanoneedles and microneedles are single-crystals with sizes up to 2-3 microns. Under the liquid phase growth, this will require crystal growth velocities of the order of five meters per second, which have been established in silicon under highly undercooled state during nanosecond laser annealing.

The Raman spectra from as-deposited carbon films as function of increasing nitrogen content (increasing partial pressure) are shown, for example, in FIG. 63. The partial pressure of nitrogen was varied from 5.0×10−3 Torr (for sample #1) to 5.0×10−2 Torr (for sample #2) to 5.0×10−1 Torr (for sample #3). These Raman spectra contain D-peak at 1350 cm−1 and G-peak at 1550 cm−1. The nitrogen incorporation is signified by: (1) increasing the intensity ratio of l(D)/l(G), and (2) shift in the G-peak to higher wavenumber 1565 cm−1 The control sample with no-doping shows the lowest D-peak. After laser annealing, the Raman spectra from N2+ implanted sample is shown in FIG. 64. FIG. 64 shows a sharp diamond peak which is downshifted from 1332 cm−1 because of decreasing crystallite size. Considering phonon dispersion relations, the downshift for nanocrystalline diamond may be expected, as the Raman active phonon is at the maximum frequency. The Raman spectra from nitrogen pressure-doped samples showed Raman peak around 1327 cm−1, which is downshifted from 1332 cm−1, but also contained residual signature of G-peak around 1560 cm−1. The results of Raman downshift for different N-doped samples, varying from 3 to 5 cm−1, are shown in FIG. 65. In this example, there is an upshift due to stresses, which is combined with downshift due to size. The Raman shift in diamond (Δω) is related to Δω (in cm−1)=2.2±0.10 cm−1 GPa−1 along the [111] direction, Δω (in cm−1)=0.73±0.20 cm−1 GPa−1 along the [100] direction, and Δω (in cm−1)=3.2±0.23 cm−1 GPa−1 for the hydrostatic component. The biaxial stress in thin films can be described as a combination of two-thirds hydrostatic and one-third uniaxial stress. The biaxial stress can be estimated using σ=2μ ((1+υ)/(1−υ)). Δε, where μ is shear modulus, υ is Poisson's ratio, and Δε is the in-plain strain.

The photoluminescence (PL) spectra from these nanocrystal magnetically active NV defects are characterized by optical zero phonon line (ZPL) at 1.945 eV (637 nm), whereas NV0 has ZPL at 2.156 eV (575 nm). FIG. 66 shows a PL spectrum containing ZPL from NV (637 nm) and NV0 (575 nm) defects, with an inset (100× magnification) showing transitions when the sample is irradiated with 532 nm PL source. FIG. 66 shows that magnetically active NV defects are characterized by optical zero phonon line (ZPL) at 1.945 eV (637 nm), whereas NV0 has ZPL at 2.156 eV (575 nm). These defects may also exhibit associated vibronic bands, extending ZPLs to lower and higher energy absorption and emission. In some examples, the characteristic NV defect ZPL line from 5 nm diamond sample may be indicative of these defects being contained in the individual nanodiamonds, which can be used for variety of biomedical and nanosensor applications. By using 532 nm PL source, it is possible to image in-situ NV0 (575 nm) and NV(637 nm) defects and their transitions directly, as, shown in the inset of FIG. 66. The sharpness of PL peaks may be indicative of lack of other defects in nanodiamonds.

FIGS. 69-71 show that transitions between NV− and NV0 can be introduced electrically and optically by laser illumination. Electrical and optical manipulation can be used in quantum device applications including a quantum computer such as that shown in FIG. 49. FIG. 69 shows increase in NV−/NV0 with increasing applied voltage (current) up to a certain value and then saturates. This ratio is reduced to the initial value, when the applied voltage is reduced to zero. This is consistent with the equilibrium trapping and detrapping of carriers, as one can derive NV−/NV0=(Kn/p)0.5, where K is the ratio of reaction constants and n and p are electron and hole concentration, respectively. In FIG. 70, the PL intensity measurements show this enhancement in NV−/NV0 upon the application of voltage. FIG. 71 shows a reduction in NV−/NV0 upon laser illumination, which is consistent with generation and trapping of holes. The NV−/NV0 ratio decreases from 1 to 2 (FIG. 71) as the laser power is increased from 9.4 to 12.5 mW without applying any voltage. When the voltage is applied at 12.5 mW, NV−/NV0 ratio increases with applied voltage from 10 (3) to 21 V (4). The increase from 3 to 4 is consistent with electrical pumping shown in FIG. 69.

In some embodiments, electrical and optical manipulations can be used for deterministic charge-state control of NV− and NV0 centers, which is important for quantum devices. NV− to NV0 transition can be induced by hole injection from p-type layers, enabling fast and deterministic charge control of a single NV center for a variety of discrete quantum device applications. In some embodiments, one of the carbon atoms in the diamond tetrahedron is replaced by magnetic 13C (5202 in FIG. 52B) to enhance entanglement among spins in diamond. Individual nuclear spins at 13C (magnetic isotope of carbon) can be controlled by their hyperfine coupling to a single electron of the NV center in diamond. In this system, quantum correlations are of high quality and persist over a millisecond at room temperature, which is adequate for advanced quantum operations. Using this approach, the generation and retrieval of entanglement among several qubits can be achieved for quantum computing.

Embodiments include synthesis and processing of self-organized nanodiamonds (4-8 nm), each containing one 13C-NV defect, as shown in FIG. 52B for quantum computing and magnetic sensing applications. In some embodiments, rapid melting and quenching of 13C and N-doped carbon layers is performed to create nanodiamonds, where the concentration of these defects is controlled to achieve one defect in each of the nanodiamonds.

In some embodiments, a carbon layer is deposited by pulsed laser deposition. The nitrogen doping is achieved by two methods: (1) N2+ ion implantation (energy 0.5-1.0 KeV) during pulsed laser deposition; and (2) introducing nitrogen during pulsed laser deposition. The concentration of nitrogen can be controlled by nitrogen flux during ion implantation and by nitrogen pressure in method (2). As-deposited carbon layers are implanted by 13C carbon isotope, which is magnetic, to a dose to contain one atom in the nanodiamond. The 13C and N-doped are converted into diamond by high-power nanosecond pulse laser annealing. In some embodiments, the laser and substrate parameters are optimized to create 4-8 nm nanodiamonds each containing a one 13C and one NV center, with atomic structure, shown in FIG. 52B.

For operation of a quantum computer at room temperature, entanglement of these defects with unique properties is important. Entanglement is related to mutual quantum interaction where the properties of two or more separate physical entities can be correlated. Individual nuclear spins at 13C (magnetic isotope of carbon) can be controlled by their hyperfine coupling to a single electron of the NV (nitrogen-vacancy) center in diamond. In such a system, quantum correlations are of high quality and persist over a millisecond at room temperature, which is adequate for advanced quantum operations. Using this approach, the generation and retrieval of entanglement among several qubits can be achieved for quantum computing.

The NV center's electron spin (S=1) exhibits extraordinarily slow relaxation, with a longitudinal relaxation time T1 (i.e., the time for spontaneous transition between pure states) on the order of milliseconds. The phase memory time T2 is found to be around 0.6 ms. The NV center is therefore a candidate for engineering quantum states and quantum information processing, as well as for high-resolution magnetometry. Optical interactions between NV centers can provide efficient scaling up toward larger-scale quantum registers. Alternatively, probabilistic entanglement based on photonic channels can provide efficient scaling up. The NV center is a point defect (FIGS. 50-52) where the electron spin is mostly localized at the defect site. However, about 11% of its electron spin density is distributed over the nearest neighbor carbon atoms, mostly those at the dangling bonds caused by the vacancy. As a result, substantial hyperfine and dipolar coupling are detectable for single nuclei localized close to the defect.

Embodiments include nanodiamonds (4-8 nm) arranged in a lattice through self-organization. Each of these nanodiamonds contains one 13C-NV center complex. 13C-NV coupling can be used to effectively control two nuclear spins on an individual basis, and by using this technique, entanglement of two 13C nuclear spins (N1, N2) in the first coordination shell of the vacancy can be demonstrated. All four maximally entangled states, namely the Bell states FT ¼ 1 ffiffi 2 pcustom-characterj00> T j11>custom-character.custom-character1custom-character YT ¼ 1 ffiffi 2 pcustom-characterj01custom-character T j10custom-charactercustom-character.custom-character2custom-character are generated, where “0” and “1” denote the two possible nuclear spin orientations (ml ¼−1=2custom-characterj0custom-character, ml ¼ custom-character1=2custom-characterj1custom-character, jN1N2custom-character).

FIG. 49 is a quantum computer 4902, according to one example. Quantum computer 4902 comprises a quantum register 4904 which comprises two or more qubits 4906-4908. Each of qubits 4906-4908 can comprise a 13C-NV nanodiamond having one 13C-NV center complex, as shown, for example, in FIG. 52B. In operation, electrical and/or optical manipulations can be used for deterministic charge-state control of NV− and NV0 centers. In some embodiments, NV− to NV0 transition can be induced by hole injection from p-type layers, enabling fast and deterministic charge control of a single NV center. In each 13C-NV center complex, one of the carbon atoms in the diamond on is magnetic 13C (e.g., 5204 in FIG. 52B) to enhance entanglement among spins in diamond. Individual nuclear spins at 13C (magnetic isotope of carbon) can be controlled by their hyperfine coupling to a single electron of the NV center in diamond. In such systems, quantum correlations are of high quality and persist over a millisecond at room temperature, which is adequate for advanced quantum operations. Using this approach, the generation and retrieval of entanglement among several qubits can be achieved quantum computing. Quantum Computer 4902 can include a structure comprising a substrate and the 13C-NV nanodiamonds of qubits 4906-4908, the 13C-NV nanodiamonds being deterministically placed on the substrate in accordance with the present disclosure. In some embodiments, qubits 4906-4908 can comprise an arrangement of nanodiamonds such as, for example, those shown in FIGS. 48 and 50 and described herein.

FIG. 50 illustrates synthesis and processing of self-organized nanodiamonds (4-8 nm), each containing one 13C-NV defect, for quantum computing and magnetic sensing applications. Rapid melting and quenching of 13C and N-doped amorphous carbon layers can be used to create 13C-NV nanodiamonds, where the concentration of these defects is controlled to achieve one 13C-NV defect in each of the nanodiamonds. In some embodiments, the 13C-NV nanodiamonds shown in FIG. 50 are self-assembled <111> identical units.

FIG. 48 illustrates an array 4802 of self-assembled <111> 13C-NV nanodiamonds 4804 for quantum computing and magnetic sensing applications, according to one example. Each of nanodiamonds 4804 have a same orientation 4806.

NV centers created using the techniques disclosed herein provide high quality, as shown in the graph of FIG. 43 which illustrates the high quality of such NV centers at 300 K. FIG. 44 is a graph showing time resolved PL measurements of NV nanodiamonds, according to one example. FIG. 44 shows an increase in the decay times of NV centers (created using the techniques disclosed herein) at 300 K, using 415 nm 200 fs excitation, with the decay times for NV0 and NV− being 6 ns and 15 ns, respectively. For comparison, the decay times of other NV centers studied by the present inventor are 2 ns and 8 ns for NV0 and NV−, respectively (shown in parenthesis in FIG. 44). FIGS. 45 and 46 are graphs illustrating tuning the NV0/NV− ratio using laser power at different temperatures. FIG. 45 is a graph showing increasing laser power at temperature of 80 K, according to one example. FIG. 46 is a graph of the NV0/NV− ratio and laser power for various temperatures (80 K, 100 K, 125 K, 175 K, 300 K), according to an example. FIG. 47 is a graph illustrating tuning the NV0 /NV− ratio using thermal energy, according to an example. FIG. 47 shows around a 35% increase in the intensity of NV− peak from 300 K to 80 K.

FIG. 67 provides the results on carrier concentration in N-doped diamond as a function of (1/T). In some examples, the carrier concentration may vary from 2.0×1018 to 5.0×1021 cm−3. These high concentrations may be the consequence of dopant trapping during rapid quenching. In the case of silicon, the dopant concentrations exceeding four hundred times the solubility limits may be achieved as a result rapid solidification from the liquid phase. The phenomenon of formation of supersaturated silicon semiconductor alloys was modeled by solute trapping concepts which can be applicable in the diamond case as well. The carrier mobility as a function of temperature for a sample with carrier concentration of 2.0×1019 cm−3 is shown in FIG. 68, which shows Hall mobility as a function of T. This corresponds to conductivity of −25 Ω/cm at 250 K, which, in some instances, may be reasonable. A fit to n=exp(−ΔE/kBT) suggest ΔE ˜0.53 eV.

Embodiments include pure and N-doped diamond nanostructures created in the form of nanodiamonds, microdiamonds, nanoneedles, microneedles, and large-area single-crystal thin films in a controlled way. This may be achieved by rapid melting of carbon in a super undercooled state and quenching to convert carbon into diamond at ambient temperatures and pressures in air. The dopants such as nitrogen can be incorporated into diamond far in excess of solubility limit via solute trapping phenomena. The vacancy concentration corresponding to quenching temperature can be trapped with nitrogen to create NV centers in nanodiamonds and other structures exceeding the solubility limit. The NV and NV0 defects have been characterized by photoluminescence using 325 nm wavelength, and NV to NV0 transitions are controlled electrically by passing current and by laser irradiation with 532 nm photons. Controlled synthesis and processing of NV nanodiamonds disclosed herein can be used in various applications including, for example, drug delivery, fluorescent biomarkers, single-photon sensors, quantum computing, nanoscale electronic and magnetic sensing, single-spin nuclear magnetic resonance, nanoscale thermometry and nanosensors.

Embodiments also include various uses for the materials and structures disclosed herein including, for example, using the magnetic materials/structures to assist in drug delivery by combining the materials with the drugs and magnetically directing to the desired part of the body, gemstones, and using the materials/structures in brushless homopolar motor for hypersonic jet engines.

FIG. 72 is a flow chart 7200 depicting an example of a process for quenching from a super undercooled state to form one or more structures of material.

At 7202, a film is deposited. The film can be deposited on a planar matching substrate (e.g. silicon, copper, sapphire) for epitaxy. In some embodiments, the film is deposited on nonplanar matching substrates (e.g., glass) for random nucleation. The film can be deposited on the substrate by pulsed laser deposition. In some embodiments, the film includes amorphous carbon and/or hexagonal boron nitride.

At 7204, at least a portion of the film is melted into a super undercooled state. In some embodiments, the film (or portion thereof) is irradiated with a nanosecond laser.

At 7206, the melted portion of the film is quenched from the super undercooled state.

In some embodiments, an amorphous carbon film is deposited at 7202 and quenching from the super undercooled state creates Q-Carbon, diamond, and/or Q-Carbon/diamond composite. In some such embodiments, the quenching can create Q-Carbon, diamond, and/or Q-Carbon/diamond composite based on the amount of undercooling achieved at 7204. For example, as shown in FIG. 1B and discussed above, at around temperature Tdl (slightly above 4000K) super undercooled carbon liquid can be quenched into diamond in various nanostructures and microstructures, and at around T* (slightly below 4000K) super undercooled carbon liquid can be quenched into Q-carbon. Diamond nanodiamonds, microdiamonds, nanoneedles, microneedles, or large area single crystal films can be formed by quenching from super undercooled carbon depending, for example, on the factors shown in Table 1.

In some embodiments, quenching from the super undercooled state can create cubic boron nitride (e.g., when a hexagonal boron nitride film is deposited at 7202).

The process can be repeated in whole or in part, as shown, for example, at 7208 and 7210, respectively, to melt and quench other portions of the film, and to deposit additional film(s) for processing.

FIG. 73 is a flow chart 7300 depicting an example of a process for quenching from a super undercooled state to form one or more structures incorporating one or more dopants at concentrations exceeding thermodynamic solubility limits.

At 7302, a substrate is selected/configured. The substrate can be selected/configured to be a template for epitaxial growth and/or for deterministic placement of structures to be grown on the substrate.

At 7304, a film is deposited. The film can be deposited on a substrate (e.g., tungsten carbide, silicon, copper, sapphire, glass, or a polymer). In some embodiments, the film is deposited on the substrate by pulsed laser deposition. In some embodiments, the film includes amorphous carbon and/or hexagonal boron nitride.

At 7306, at least a portion of the film is doped with one or more dopants. For example, the film can be doped with n-type and/or p-type dopants. In some embodiments, an amorphous carbon film is doped with nitrogen ions to form diamond with nitrogen vacancies at 7310. In some embodiments, an amorphous carbon film is doped with nitrogen ions and carbon-13 to form diamond with nitrogen vacancies at 7310. In some such embodiments, each nitrogen vacancy can include one carbon-13 atom as shown, for example, in FIG. 52B.

At 7308 at least a portion of the doped portion of the film is melted into a super undercooled state. In some embodiments, the film (or portion thereof) is irradiated with a nanosecond laser.

At 7310, the melted portion of the film is quenched from the super undercooled state. The quenching can form one or more structures incorporating dopants at concentrations exceeding thermodynamic solubility limits.

In some embodiments, an amorphous carbon film is deposited at 7304 and quenching from the super undercooled state creates diamond incorporating the one or more dopants at concentrations exceeding thermodynamic solubility limits via solute trapping.

In some embodiments, quenching from the super undercooled state can create cubic boron nitride (e.g., when a hexagonal boron nitride film is deposited at 7304) incorporating the one or more dopants at concentrations exceeding thermodynamic solubility limits via solute trapping.

The process can be repeated in whole or in part, as shown, for example, at 7314 and 7312, respectively, to melt and quench other portions of the film, and to deposit additional film(s) for processing. In some embodiments, the process can be repeated at 7312 to add additional layers of film with different dopant(s) than the previously quenched film layer/portion (e.g., to create a PN junction) and/or to add additional layers of film with the same dopant(s). In some embodiments, the process can be repeated at 7314 to melt and quench one or more other portions of the film. In such embodiments, the other portions can be doped with the same dopants as the previously quenched film layer/portion or different dopants.

Scaling up production can include repositioning between multiple quenching steps. For example, producing diamond structures can include creating a first diamond portion, repositioning, and creating a second diamond portion adjacent the first to form, together with the first portion, at least part of a nanodiamond, microdiamond, nanoneedle, microneedle, gemstone, large area single crystal film, or other structure. Those steps can be repeated until the complete structure is made.

Repositioning can be accomplished by moving the first portion with respect to an orientation of the laser pulse, moving the orientation of the laser pulse with respect to the first portion, or both. Moving the first portion can be done by translating or rotating a substrate supporting the first portion while leaving the orientation (angle) of the laser beam undisturbed so that a different portion of the substrate passes under the laser beam. Moving the orientation or scanning of the laser beam with respect to the film can comprise rotating a servo-mirror reflecting the laser beam onto a different portion of the substrate while the substrate remains unmoved. Doing both could include moving the substrate surface and the mirror at the same time to achieve faster repositioning of the laser beam onto a separate portion of the substrate.

The present inventor has created Q-Carbon following procedures described herein. The inventor conducted hardness testing on the created Q-Carbon using Hysitron Nanoindentor. The hardness testing included pressing a diamond tip against the created Q-Carbon and diamond-like carbon in a standard hardness test. The diamond tip did not indent the created Q-Carbon, indicating Q-Carbon is harder than diamond. Further, the diamond tip fractured when pressed against the created Q-Carbon, confirming Q-Carbon is harder than diamond.

The foregoing description of certain examples, including illustrated examples, has been presented only for the purpose of illustration and description and is not intended to be exhaustive or to limit the disclosure to the precise forms disclosed. Numerous modifications, adaptations, and uses thereof will be apparent to those skilled in the art without departing from the scope of the disclosure.