Institute for
Advanced Manufacturing


Revolutionising how we sense our world

Our Diamond Quantum Sensing Research Hub is creating the next generation of quantum sensors to transform the way we sense the world around us. This is being achieved by turning tiny flaws in diamond into incredibly sensitive quantum devices. 

Why diamonds are so valuable

Red light shining on a diamond making the diamond glow red

Diamond Quantum Sensing


Diamond is a familiar material, noted for its prized sparkling properties as a gemstone and hardness for use in industrial drilling. Diamonds with a certain flaw in their lattice, called a Nitrogen Vacancy - whereby two Carbon atoms are replaced by a Nitrogen atom and an empty space - have quantum properties that can be used as probes to make measurements far more accurate and precise than conventional sensors.

The quantum properties of the Nitrogen Vacancy can be manipulated and read simply by shining green light on the diamond. When green light is shone on this flaw the diamond glows red. The brightness of this glow is used to probe the quantum properties and how they are affected by physical quantities such as magnetic fields, electric fields, temperature, biological and chemical substances. The problem with this approach to detection is that diamond sparkles, and the property that makes diamond sparkle also keeps the light trapped in the diamond. For sensing we need to find ways to capture as much of this light as possible and then relay this light to a detector such as a camera.

The focus of our research

Our Diamond Quantum Sensing Research Hub is focussing on engineering nanoscale structures to capture and control light from the diamond, as well as designing measurement protocols. For example to study the biological process by which cells make energy, track hazardous chemical reactions, and monitor carbon capture and storage. 

Our current research activities focus on enhancing the measurement speeds and sensitivity of diamond quantum sensors - to create customised sensing methods and prototype devices to translate the technology for use by non-specialists. Additionally, we are unlocking new applications in sectors such as healthcare, food security, defence and more. 

What our Diamond Quantum Sensing Research Hub offers you

As well as progressing the research itself, we enable  businesses, researchers and academics to access specialist skills, knowledge and equipment to further innovation in this field. Plus, we act as a catalyst for new academic and industrial collaborations.  

Find out more

If you would like to discuss the Diamond Quantum Sensing Research Hub, please contact Professor Melissa Mather.

If you would to like to partner with the hub and join our researcher and stakeholder community, please complete this short form. 

Key contacts



Institute for Advanced Manufacturing

Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
Jubilee Campus
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 3830