Welcome to the de Leon Group

The de Leon lab is focused on building quantum devices with color centers in wide bandgap materials. These color centers act as artificial atoms in the solid state, and can have remarkable optical and spin properties. We study nanophotonics, device physics, quantum optics, spectroscopy, and materials science in diamond with the technological goals of realizing quantum networks and nanoscale sensors. We are also interested in exploring fundamental quantum optics, magnetism and interactions between spins, and new material systems for quantum technologies. Our group is highly interdisciplinary, and our work spans optics and photonics, surface science and materials spectroscopy, atomic physics, nanofabrication, optoelectronics, and cryogenics. We are fortunate to have collaborators around the world that are experts in diamond synthesis, processing, and characterization, surface spectroscopy, EPR, STM, and DFT calculations of defects in wide bandgap materials.

We collaborate broadly, and benefit from a large research community focused on quantum science and engineering at Princeton: 


May 15, 2023

Elisabeth Rulke's senior thesis is featured on the Princeton homepage!


April 21, 2023

Our paper, "Neutral Silicon Vacancy Centers in Undoped Diamond via Surface Control," in collaboration with Patrick Maletinsky is out in PRL:


March 29, 2023

Our paper reporting a new color center in diamond in the telecom O-band, in collaboration with Philipp Reineck, Alastair Stacey, and Greg Scholes is out in Nano Letters:


March 7, 2023

We have two new papers on charge dynamics of silicon vacancy centers. "Neutral silicon vacancy centers in diamond via photoactivated itinerant carriers" is out in Phys Rev Applied:


and collaborative work with Carlos Meriles and Alex Wood, "Room-temperature photo-chromism of silicon vacancy centers in CVD diamond" is out in Nano Letters:


February 6, 2023

Our paper, "Probing itinerant carrier dynamics at the diamond surface using single nitrogen vacancy centers," is out in APL:


December 22, 2022

Our paper, "Nanoscale covariance magnetometry with diamond quantum sensors," is out in Science:


News coverage:


December 14, 2022

Our paper, "Probing Spin Dynamics on Diamond Surfaces Using a Single Quantum Sensor," is out in PRX Quantum:


News coverage:


October 26, 2022

Zihuai Zhang successfully defended his thesis, " Engineering Quantum Defects in Diamond for Quantum Networks." Congratulations, Dr. Zhang!

May 15, 2022

Lila Rodgers was awarded the Peter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship, the highest honor at the Graduate School. Congratulations, Lila!


February 22, 2022

Our collaborative work with the Maurer group at UChicago is in PNAS:


News coverage:


December 8, 2021

Congratulations to Lila Rodgers for being recognized with a SEAS Award for Excellence!


September 13, 2021

We are starting an exciting new collaboration with the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory on diamond growth for quantum sensors. 

News coverage:


July 28, 2021

Ding Huang successfully defended his thesis entitled, "Building quantum network nodes based on neutral silicon vacancy centers in diamond." Congratulations, Dr. Huang!

July 9, 2021

Congratulations to Lila Rodgers for getting a poster award at the 2021 De Beers Diamond Research Conference for her poster entitled,  "Engineering coherent shallow nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond under functionalized surfaces for biosensing experiments"

March 23, 2021

Trisha Madhavan was selected for an NSF GRFP Fellowship! Congratulations!

March 19, 2021

In collaboration with Andrew Houck and Bob Cava, we have demonstrated a new superconducting transmon qubit with coherence times in excess of 0.3 ms! 

March 15, 2021

Our paper detailing a proposal for hybrid III-V diamond photonics for neutral SiV quantum nodes was published in Optics Express

November 30, 2020

Our paper reporting optically detected magnetic resonance in the neutral silicon vacancy center was published in Physical Review Letters

August 26, 2020 

We are excited to launch the Co-Design Center for Quantum Advantage (C2QA), a Department of Energy QIS research center! Princeton University plays a major leadership role in C2QA, and Nathalie will be leading the Materials Thrust.

News, DOE announcement
C2QA site

August 18, 2020

Our paper on charge state dynamics and optically detected electron spin resonance contrast of shallow nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond was published in Physical Review Research

August 1, 2020

Welcome to Aveek Dutta and Jared Rovny, new postdocs joining this summer. Congratulations also to Jared, who will be one if the inaugural PQI fellows!

April 16, 2020

Alex Abulnaga earned a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Post-graduate Doctoral Fellowship. Congratulations, Alex!

October 1, 2019

Mattias Fitzpatrick was awarded an Intelligence Community Postdoctoral Research Fellowship. Congratulations, Mattias!

September 26, 2019

Our paper on engineering highly coherent shallow NV centers was published in PRX

May 22, 2019

Ding Huang earned the 2nd place Award for Best Student Poster at the Latsis Diamond Photonics Symposium at EPFL for his poster, "Nanophotonics for telecom quantum networks based on neutral silicon vacancy centers in diamond"

June 4, 2018 

Zihuai Zhang earned the Princeton Electrical Engineering Early Career Award

April 12, 2018 

Lila Rodgers received both the NSFGRFP and NDSEG fellowships. Congratulations, Lila!

March 17, 2017 

JJ Allred was selected for an NSFGRFP fellowship. Congratulations, JJ!