The challenge was to create a diamond wafer that was “pure” and larger than the current 4mm standard, which is too small to be practical. This is not an easy task, though. Quantum computing involves the use of nitrogen to make diamonds, and for diamonds to be useful as storage for cubits, a diamond must be very pure, with no contaminants growing above three parts per billion. Previous attempts to make larger diamonds have always introduced excessive nitrogen. To achieve his goal, the team developed a new method for raising diamonds called step-flow. According to Gizmodo, in this method the diamond rises above a stair-shaped sapphire layer. As diamonds expand, they increase in circumference, reducing cracking and inconsistency. Nitrogen gas is used to accelerate the growth process. This new method reduces the amount of nitrogen needed, which is the key to its success. The result is called the Kenjan diamond.
Diamonds are seen as the ideal medium for quantum computing storage. This is due to an error in their design called the Nitrogen-Vacancy Center (NV Center). This error occurs when a carbon atom in a diamond crystal lattice is replaced by a nitrogen atom, leaving the lattice space on the side empty. This error traps electrons and is thus used to store errors. This is a binary system where if an electron is detected, it is a 1, if it is empty (neutral), it is a zero. In addition, different types of laser errors can change the state of electrons. This allows the diamond to be written, deleted, and seemingly rewritten forever. Additionally if it is kept in the dark it can theoretically hold data for eternity.
This marks a major breakthrough for quantum computing. The company says the wafers could be mass-produced, and expects to launch them commercially in 2023. The company’s PR describes the discovery as something that “is expected to lead to the realization of quantum computers in the future.” It will be a while before you raise your hopes about your next Quantum computer upgrade, before something becomes commercially available. We remind you that Google is hoping to get a “lovely” quantum computer by 2029.