Coupling Nitrogen Vacancy Centers in Diamond Nanopillars Whispering Gallery Microresonators
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For cavity quantum electrodynamics systems (cavity-QED) to play a role in quantum information processing applications and in quantum networks, they must be robust and scalable in addition to having a suitable method for the generation, processing and storage of quantum bits. One solution is to develop a composite system that couples a nitrogen vacancy (NV) center in diamond to a whispering gallery mode supported by a fused silica microsphere. Such a system is motivated by the optical and electron-spin properties of the NV center. The NV center is the leading spin-qubit and exhibits atomic like linewidths at cryogenic temperatures and has spin coherence times greater than milliseconds at room temperature. These long coherence times, coupled with nanosecond scale spin readout and manipulation times, allow for millions of quantum operations to be processed. Silica whispering gallery resonators are the only class of microresonators with quality factor high enough to reach the strong coupling regime, which is necessary for some quantum information processing applications. Integrating these two components into a system that could position a diamond nanopillar near the surface of a deformed-double stemmed microsphere system, with nanometer precision, at 10 K was a major achievement of this research. Cavity resonances in deformed microspheres can be excited with a free-space coupling technique which simplifies their integration into cryogenic environments. In these intentionally deformed resonators, an enhanced evanescent field decay length was observed at specific locations along the ray orbit. The double-stem arrangement enables the cavity resonance to be tuned over 450 GHz, with sub-10 MHz resolution, at 10 K. These two features, the enhanced decay length and broad range tuning with high resolution, are indispensible tools for cavity-QED studies with silica microspheres. Diamond nanopillars were fabricated from single crystal diamond with diameters as small as 140 nm in order to maintain a high quality factor. Studies were conducted on NV centers in nanopillars and bulk diamond to determine their suitability for cavity-QED applications. In an attempt to increase the light-matter interaction between NV centers and whispering gallery modes, diamond substrates were optically characterized that were irradiated with nitrogen ions.