Observation and control of blinking nitrogen-vacancy centres in discrete nanodiamonds

C. Bradac, T. Gaebel, N. Naidoo, M. J. Sellars, J. Twamley, L. J. Brown, A. S. Barnard, T. Plakhotnik, A. V. Zvyagin, J. R. Rabeau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

338 Citations (Scopus)


Nitrogen-vacancy colour centres in diamond can undergo strong, spin-sensitive optical transitions under ambient conditions, which makes them attractive for applications in quantum optics, nanoscale magnetometry and biolabelling. Although nitrogen-vacancy centres have been observed in aggregated detonation nanodiamonds and milled nanodiamonds, they have not been observed in very small isolated nanodiamonds. Here, we report the first direct observation of nitrogen-vacancy centres in discrete 5-nm nanodiamonds at room temperature, including evidence for intermittency in the luminescence (blinking) from the nanodiamonds. We also show that it is possible to control this blinking by modifying the surface of the nanodiamonds.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)345-349
Number of pages5
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2010

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