A diamond nanowire single-photon source. Academic Article uri icon


  • The development of a robust light source that emits one photon at a time will allow new technologies such as secure communication through quantum cryptography. Devices based on fluorescent dye molecules, quantum dots and carbon nanotubes have been demonstrated, but none has combined a high single-photon flux with stable, room-temperature operation. Luminescent centres in diamond have recently emerged as a stable alternative, and, in the case of nitrogen-vacancy centres, offer spin quantum bits with optical readout. However, these luminescent centres in bulk diamond crystals have the disadvantage of low photon out-coupling. Here, we demonstrate a single-photon source composed of a nitrogen-vacancy centre in a diamond nanowire, which produces ten times greater flux than bulk diamond devices, while using ten times less power. This result enables a new class of devices for photonic and quantum information processing based on nanostructured diamond, and could have a broader impact in nanoelectromechanical systems, sensing and scanning probe microscopy.

published proceedings

  • Nat Nanotechnol

altmetric score

  • 11.5

author list (cited authors)

  • Babinec, T. M., Hausmann, B., Khan, M., Zhang, Y., Maze, J. R., Hemmer, P. R., & Loncar, M.

citation count

  • 663

complete list of authors

  • Babinec, Thomas M||Hausmann, Birgit JM||Khan, Mughees||Zhang, Yinan||Maze, Jeronimo R||Hemmer, Philip R||Loncar, Marko

publication date

  • March 2010