Creating tiny grids of NV centers could be used for quantum computer and for tiny arrays of magnetic field sensors. The grid of magnetic field sensors could image magnetic fields
When nitrogen is surrounded by carbon it binds to three carbons but leaves the fourth carbon hanging.
The electron spends its time hanging around in the void between them, creating a kind of pseudo-atom with its own structure. The electron has spin states that can be manipulated with magnetic fields (these are used to store quantum states). These spin states are connected to energetic states that emit and absorb light.
Nature Photonics - Laser writing of coherent color centers in diamond
Optically active point defects in crystals have gained wide-spread attention as photonic systems that could be applied in quantum information technologies. However, challenges remain in the placing of individual defects at desired locations, an essential element of device fabrication. Here we report the controlled generation of single negatively charged nitrogen–vacancy (NV−) centers in diamond using laser writing.Aberration correction in the writing optics allows precise positioning of the vacancies within the diamond crystal, and subsequent annealing produces single NV−centers with a probability of success of up to 45 ± 15%, located within about 200 nm of the desired position in the transverse plane.Selected NV−centers display stable, coherent optical transitions at cryogenic temperatures, a prerequisite for the creation of distributed quantum networks of solid-state qubits. The results illustrate the potential of laser writing as a new tool for defect engineering in quantum technologies, and extend laser processing to the single-defect domain.