Probing Charge Dynamics in Diamond with an Individual Color Center

Aedan Gardill, Ishita Kemeny, Matthew C. Cambria, Yanfei Li, Hossein T. Dinani, Ariel Norambuena, Jeronimo R. Maze, Vincenzo Lordi, and Shimon Kolkowitz, Nano Lett. 2021, 21, 16, 6960–6966, Publication Date:August 2, 2021,

Control over the charge states of color centers in solids is necessary to fully utilize them in quantum technologies. However, the microscopic charge dynamics of deep defects in wide-band-gap semiconductors are complex, and much remains unknown. We utilize a single-shot charge-state readout of an individual nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center to probe the charge dynamics of the surrounding defects in diamond. We show that the NV center charge state can be converted through the capture of holes produced by optical illumination of defects many micrometers away. With this method, we study the optical charge conversion of silicon-vacancy (SiV) centers and provide evidence that the dark state of the SiV center under optical illumination is SiV2–. These measurements illustrate that charge carrier generation, transport, and capture are important considerations in the design and implementation of quantum devices with color centers and provide a novel way to probe and control charge dynamics in diamond.