Optical activation and detection of charge transport between individual colour centres in diamond

Artur Lozovoi, Harishankar Jayakumar, Damon Daw, Gyorgy Vizkelethy, Edward Bielejec, Marcus W. Doherty, Johannes Flick, Carlos A. Meriles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Understanding the capture of charge carriers by colour centres in semiconductors is important for the development of novel forms of sensing and quantum information processing, but experiments typically involve ensemble measurements, often impacted by defect proximity. Here we show that confocal fluorescence microscopy and magnetic resonance can be used to induce and probe charge transport between individual nitrogen-vacancy centres in diamond at room temperature. In our experiments, a ‘source’ nitrogen vacancy undergoes optically driven cycles of ionization and recombination to produce a stream of photogenerated carriers, one of which is subsequently captured by a ‘target’ nitrogen vacancy several micrometres away. We use a spin-to-charge conversion scheme to encode the spin state of the source colour centre into the charge state of the target, which allows us to set an upper bound to carrier injection from other background defects. We attribute our observations to the action of unscreened Coulomb potentials producing giant carrier capture cross-sections, orders of magnitude greater than those measured in ensembles.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-724
Number of pages8
JournalNature Electronics
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge useful discussions with Y. H. Chen. A.L., H.J. and C.A.M. acknowledge support from the National Science Foundation through grant no. NSF-1914945, and from Research Corporation for Science Advancement through a FRED award; they also acknowledge access to the facilities and research infrastructure of the NSF CREST IDEALS, grant no. NSF-HRD-1547830. M.W.D. acknowledges support from the Australian Research Council COE170100169. Ion implantation work to generate the NV and SiV centres was performed, in part, at the Centre for Integrated Nanotechnologies, an Office of Science User Facility operated for the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science. Sandia National Laboratories is a multimission laboratory managed and operated by the National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Honeywell International, for the US DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-NA0003525. This paper describes objective technical results and analysis; any subjective views or opinions that might be expressed in the paper do not necessarily represent the views of the DOE or the US Government. The Flatiron Institute is a division of the Simons Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Limited.


Dive into the research topics of 'Optical activation and detection of charge transport between individual colour centres in diamond'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this