A quantum computer is a special type of a computer with super-fast computing abilities. At the core of a typical computer is a microprocessor chip that performs all the computations of the computer. This microprocessor is built using silicon chips and the way it handles any data is simple – all data is converted into zeros and ones (0 and 1), this data is then stored as electrical charge (0 means no charge and 1 means charge) on the silicon and finally computations are achieved by modifying these 0s and 1s through predetermined steps to arrive at the final answer. The computers today are limited in their processing capacity since the small level of the processor understands only 2 states or bits (0 and 1). Increasing the speed or processing capacity means larger microprocessors. An option to this limitation is – Quantum Computer.
A quantum computer works on the principle of qubits or quantum bits. A qubit in very simple terms can have multiple states at the same time – instead of being either 0 or 1, a qubit can simultaneously be both 0 and 1. Due to its unique properties quantum computers can achieve very high processing speeds.
It follows that a quantum computer cannot be built using the traditional silicon based processors. One material that is suitable for building a quantum computer is – diamonds.
How can diamonds be used? To be specific, diamonds that have small and specific nitrogen impurities can be used with light or magnetic fields to form the basic units of quantum computers. The structure of the diamond and the structure of Nitrogen impurity within the diamond structure are key to this usage. Diamonds have a long life and are resistant to wear and tear.
The main challenge in this architecture is that finding the right kind of diamonds in mines is like waiting for a favorable lottery outcome. No miner can guarantee the types of diamonds that are found in their mines. In addition to this getting the perfect impurity structure is also impossible. For reliable design of a quantum computer, researchers would need diamonds that fit into their exact specifications. Are lab-grown diamonds the answer? The control over diamond structure, impurities and size would definitely point to a yes.