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Quenching nitrogen-vacancy center photoluminescence with infrared pulsed laser

Ngoc Diep Lai, O. Faklaris, D. Zheng, V. Jacques, H.-C. Chang, J.-F. Roch and F. Treussart, New J. Phys. 15, 033030 (2013)

Diamond nanocrystals containing Nitrogen-Vacancy (NV) color centers have been used in recent years as fluorescent probes for near-field and cellular imaging. In this work we report that an infrared (IR) pulsed excitation beam can quench the photoluminescence of NV color center in a diamond nanocrystal (size < 50 nm) with an extinction ratio as high as ~90%. We attribute this effect to the heating of the nanocrystal consecutive to multi-photon absorption by the diamond matrix. This quenching is reversible: the photoluminescence intensity goes back to its original value when the IR laser beam is turned off, with a typical response time of hundred picoseconds, allowing for a fast control of NV color center photoluminescence. We used this effect to achieve sub-diffraction limited imaging of fluorescent diamond nanocrystals on a coverglass. For that, as in Ground State Depletion super-resolution technique, we combined the green excitation laser beam with the control IR depleting one after shaping its intensity profile in a doughnut form, so that the emission comes only from the sub-wavelength size central part.

Open access paper DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/15/3/033030
e-print: arXiv:1302.2154

This work is a joint research between the LPQM (ENS Cachan, France) and the Institute of Atomic and Molecular Sciences, Academia Sinica, Taipei 106, Taiwan, in the framework of LIA (Laboratoire International Associé) laboratory.
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