skip to main content


Title: Cooling the motion of diamond nanocrystals in a magneto-gravitational trap in high vacuum

Levitated diamond nanocrystals with nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centres in high vacuum have been proposed as a unique system for experiments in fundamental quantum mechanics, including the generation of large quantum superposition states and tests of quantum gravity. This system promises extreme isolation from its environment while providing quantum control and sensing through the NV centre spin. While optical trapping has been the most explored method of levitation, recent results indicate that excessive optical heating of the nanodiamonds under vacuum may make the method impractical with currently available materials. Here, we study an alternative magneto-gravitational trap for diamagnetic particles, such as diamond nanocrystals, with stable levitation from atmospheric pressure to high vacuum. Magnetic field gradients from permanent magnets confine the particle in two dimensions, while confinement in the third dimension is gravitational. Furthermore, we demonstrate that feedback cooling of the centre-of-mass motion of a trapped nanodiamond cluster results in cooling of one degree of freedom to less than 1 K.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 6; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Univ. of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS diamagnetic levitation; nanodiamond; particle