Quantum Information Science for Energy Sector Applications

H. Paudel, S. Crawford, Y. Duan
National Energy Technology Laboratory, US Department of Energy,
United States

Keywords: Quantum sensing, Quantum computing, Nanodiamond,


On its revolutionary threshold, quantum sensing is creating potentially transformative opportunities to exploit intricate quantum mechanical phenomena in new ways to make ultrasensitive measurements of multiple parameters. Concurrently, growing interest in quantum sensing has created a pathway for its deployment to improve processes pertaining to energy production, distribution, and consumption. In that spirit, NETL is leveraging experimental and computational quantum tools to enhance U.S. energy competitiveness. Two major directions, (i) quantum sensing, and (ii) quantum computing in the area of quantum information sciences (QIS), are currently being perused at NETL. The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in nanodiamond (ND) is selected as a viable candidate to achieve an unprecedented level of sensitivity in rare earth element detection. The NV ND crystal is one of the best candidate materials for quantum sensing and metrology at elevated environmental conditions. NV center can be used to achieve an unprecedented level of sensing applications at high temperatures and pressures. In addition, NV center is proven to be useful for magnetic field sensing. This opens avenues for the applications in sensing of valuable minerals such as rare earth elements (REEs) in the crude and waste subsurface materials which carry free electronic spins locally. In this work, we present our computational and experimental studies on electronic and optical properties of bulk diamond with N impurity and N with a carbon (C) vacancy defect. Experimentally, we encapsulate ND in MOF/polymer materials. We measure the transverse spin relaxation time of NV center in bare and encapsulated ND. In order to study the surfaces with shallow NV center that are useful for the quantum sensing applications, we will introduce different doping elements on the surfaces and present surface electronic properties. In this presentation, we also discuss the recent development of quantum computing work at NETL. The application of rapidly evolving quantum technologies to real-world systems is challenging. Taking stock of the current state-of-the-art in QIS and identifying potential energy sector problems that could benefit from QIS represents a key first step. NETL has published two open-access comprehensive review articles on quantum computing and quantum sensing for energy, with a third in preparation. Our work is expected to bridge a gap between the quantum and energy communities.