Despite the numerous experimental and theoretical studies on the negatively charged nitrogen vacancy center (NV-) in diamond and the predictions that the neutral nitrogen vacancy center (NV0) should have an S= 1 2 ground state, NV0 has not previously been detected by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). We report new EPR data on a trigonal nitrogen-containing defect in diamond with an S= 3 2 excited state populated via optical excitation. Analysis of the spin Hamiltonian parameters and the wavelength dependence of the optical excitation leads to assignment of this S= 3 2 state to the A24 excited state of NV0. This identification, together with an examination of the electronic structure of the NV centers in diamond, provides a plausible explanation for the lack of observation (to date) of an EPR signal from the NV0 ground state.
|Journal||Physical Review B: Condensed Matter and Materials Physics|
|Publication status||Published - 6 Feb 2008|