New diamond-based nanowire could open door to better biological sensors

A new type of diamond-based nanowire devices developed by researchers at Harvard University could potentially be used in new generations of biological and chemical sensors.

The nanowire devices are seen as a sign of great promise that the creation of nanomaterials that could be used in quantum cryptography, computing and imaging methods for magnetic fields could soon become practical.

The nanowire devices are capable of producing a bright, stable source of single photons at room temperature, moving secure, light-based computing one step closer.

The development of the nanowire devices was announced in the February 14 issue of the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology by a team led by Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences assistant professor of electrical engineering Marko Loncar.

“We consider this an important step and enabling technology towards more practical optical systems based on this exciting material platform. Starting with these synthetic, nanostructured diamond samples, we can start dreaming about the diamond-based devices and systems that could one day lead to applications in quantum science and technology as well as in sensing and imaging,” Loncar told

All of the diamond-based nanowire devices were constructed at the Harvard Center for Nanoscale Systems. Funding for the development was secured under the U.S. National Science Foundation's nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency also aided in the investigation into the nanowire devices.