Commercial quantities of ultrasmall fluorescent nanodiamonds containing color centers

Olga Shenderova, Nicholas Nunn, Thomas Oeckinghaus, Marco Torelli, Gary McGuire, Kevin Smith, Evgeny Danilov, Rolf Reuter, Joerg Wrachtrup, Alexander Shames, Daria Filonova, Alexander Kinev

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Optically active nanodiamond particles remain one of the most popular research topics due to the photoluminescent properties of crystallographic defects in the diamond lattice, referred to as color centers. A number of groups are currently undertaking efforts to commercialize this material. Recently, our group succeeded in large-scale production of fluorescent diamond particles containing nitrogen-vacancy (NV) color centers in hundred-gram per batch scales using irradiation with 2-3 MeV electrons. Production of ND-NV fractions with median sizes ranging between 10 nm and 100 nm was achieved. While 100 nm fluorescent nanodiamonds (FNDs) are ∼10x brighter than a conventional dye (Atto 532), the brightness of FNDs drops with decreasing particle size. Because of this, significant efforts must be undertaken to elucidate the size/brightness compromise and identify relevant application niches for FND in bioimaging and biolabeling. In order for a new material to be considered for applications in the overcrowded optical reagent market, the reagent must be convenient to use by an end user from the biomedical community, be validated both in vitro and in vivo, and offer measurable and significant (rather than incremental) benefit to end users in specific applications. This paper reports on the characteristics of the ultrasmall (10-40nm) and larger fluorescent nanodiamonds as well as our efforts toward their adaptation for use in the biological science community.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Photonics of Quantum Computing, Memory, and Communication X
EditorsPhilip R. Hemmer, Hwang Lee, Alan L. Migdall, Zameer Ul Hasan
ISBN (Electronic)9781510606777
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
EventAdvances in Photonics of Quantum Computing, Memory, and Communication X 2017 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 31 Jan 20172 Feb 2017

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceAdvances in Photonics of Quantum Computing, Memory, and Communication X 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Bioimaging
  • Color centers
  • Fluorescent nanodiamond particles
  • Nitrogen-vacancy centers
  • Photoluminescence
  • Photostability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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