Diatope supplies first diamonds for quantum technologies in the DiaQ project

Diatope, the startup behind our spin-enabling project DiaQ, handed over the first diamonds from their production line in Ulm today: high-purity diamonds with an approx. 100-nm layer of 99.99 per cent 12C-enriched diamond and a diamond with a layer of 99 per cent 13C-enriched diamond. This is Diatope’s first hardware delivery as part of the DLR QCI – and the startup’s first hardware delivery ever. Diatope has thus reached a first important milestone for the DiaQ project. And it shows that it is well on the way to industrially producing special diamonds for quantum applications by the end of the project and thus closing a supply gap in the NV centre ecosystem: high-purity qubit diamonds with a guaranteed quality standard, developed and manufactured in Germany.

High-purity diamond coatings for many quantum technologies

from left: Maximilian Kögl, Robert Axmann (DLR QCI), Christoph Findler, Christian Osterkamp (Diatope) at the Innovation Center Ulm

Diatopes diamonds are inconspicuous platelets of transparent material measuring just a few square millimetres. But they are an important building block for a whole range of promising quantum technologies: On top of a thin diamond layer that serves as a carrier and shield against external influences, Diatope grows another high-purity diamond layer in its reactor that is only 100 nm thin and enriched with carbon isotopes: 12C for the generation of layers with magnetic vacuum and 13C layers for the targeted implantation of qubits (the 13C layers have nuclear spins that act as qubit registers together with the NV centres).

Diatope steuert durch die Schichtdicken und Isotopenart die Sandwich-Strukturen, die jeweils für die unterschiedlichen Anwendungen im Quantencomputing und in der Quantensensorik nötig sind.

Industrialisation of a scientific idea

v.l.n.r.: Barbara Grüner-Dvorak, Kathrin Höppner, Maximilian Kögl, Robert Axmann (DLR QCI), Christoph Findler, Christian Osterkamp (Diatope)

The three Diatope founders Christoph Findler, Johannes Lang and Christian Osterkamp developed the expertise for this at the Institute of Quantum Optics at the University of Ulm and brought it to market as a spin-off. With the DLR QCI contract for the development of the DiaQ spin-enabling project, Diatope will set up a production facility specialising in NV centres and develop an optimised production process with which high-quality quantum-grade and qubit diamonds can be produced with consistent quality. Diatope and DiaQ are thus also an example of how DLR QCI succeeds in industrialising a scientific idea.

The demand for qubit diamonds is growing due to their wide range of potential applications, for example in quantum sensor technology, quantum computing or, in future, as single photon emitters. With the first hardware delivery, Diatope has achieved a significant development step for the DiaQ project. However, the next milestones will now involve further refining and refining the manufacturing process in order to ultimately make the qubit diamonds usable for quantum computing via coupling – and finally to make the process industrially reproducible.

Only then will DiaQ have achieved one of its most important goals: closing the supply gap for high-quality diamond qubits for the entire NV centre ecosystem. In the DLR QCI ecosystem alone, the two quantum computer manufacturers SaxonQ | SuNQC and XeedQ | XQi, the hardware manufacturer Advanced Quantum | SQuAP & KompaQD and our research project StarQ use NV centres in diamond. As soon as the NV centre approaches are to be scaled up industrially, the supply of the necessary raw materials and components must be ensured – these are often highly specialised products that are only provided by very few or only individual manufacturers across a wide area. In order to be future-proof, additional production locations are required for sovereign technology access – which we ensure with projects such as Diatope.