University of Rochester researchers have measured for the first time light emitted by photoluminescence from a nanodiamond levitating in free space. The researchers used a laser to trap nanodiamonds in space and then, using another laser, caused the diamonds to emit light at given frequencies.
The experiment, led by Nick Vamivakas, an assistant professor of optics, demonstrates that it is possible to levitate diamonds as small as 100 nanometers in free space. "Now that we have shown we can levitate nanodiamonds and measure photoluminescence from defects inside the diamonds, we can start considering systems that could have applications in the field of quantum information and computing," said Vamivakas. An example of such a system would be an optomechanical resonator.