Modulation of nitrogen vacancy charge state and fluorescence in nanodiamonds using electrochemical potential

Edited by Fedor Jelezko, Ulm University, Ulm, Germany, and accepted by the Editorial Board February 8, 2016 (received for review March 4, 2015)
March 24, 2016
113 (15) 3938-3943

Significance

The nitrogen vacancy center (NV) in diamond is a fluorescent color center that can be in several charge states depending on its local electrostatic environment. Here, we demonstrate the control of the charge state and fluorescence of NVs in nanodiamonds (NDs) by applying a potential difference across NDs in an electrochemical cell. Controlling the charge state can improve spin-based sensing protocols of the NV. Conversely, the NV’s strong fluorescence dependence on electrochemical potential differences also enables a new modality for optical sensing of its environment. With this electrochemical setup, we show that a single NV can reveal a 100-mV potential swing, whereas multiple NVs allow for the detection of potential swings as small as 20 mV.

Abstract

The negatively charged nitrogen vacancy (NV) center in diamond has attracted strong interest for a wide range of sensing and quantum information processing applications. To this end, recent work has focused on controlling the NV charge state, whose stability strongly depends on its electrostatic environment. Here, we demonstrate that the charge state and fluorescence dynamics of single NV centers in nanodiamonds with different surface terminations can be controlled by an externally applied potential difference in an electrochemical cell. The voltage dependence of the NV charge state can be used to stabilize the NV state for spin-based sensing protocols and provides a method of charge state-dependent fluorescence sensing of electrochemical potentials. We detect clear NV fluorescence modulation for voltage changes down to 100 mV, with a single NV and down to 20 mV with multiple NV centers in a wide-field imaging mode. These results suggest that NV centers in nanodiamonds could enable parallel optical detection of biologically relevant electrochemical potentials.

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Acknowledgments

We thank Igal Bayn for fabricating the Al2O3-coated samples and Tim Schröder, Florian Dolde, Edward H. Chen, Matthew E. Trusheim, Wieteke de Boer, Adam Gali, Kohei Itoh, Jose Garrido, and Jonathan Hodges for helpful discussions. Financial support was provided in part by the McGovern Institute Neurotechnology Program, the W. M. Keck Foundation, Army Research Office (ARO) Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives (MURI) Grant W911NF-12-1-0594, Simons Foundation, Jeremy and Joyce Wertheimer, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant 1R01NS087950, Diamond Nanotechnologies Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grant D14PC00121, DARPA Grant HR0011-14-C-0018, and NIH Grant 1R43MH102942-01. R.S. was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant 1122374.

Supporting Information

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Supporting Information

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Information & Authors

Information

Published in

Go to Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Vol. 113 | No. 15
April 12, 2016
PubMed: 27035935

Classifications

Submission history

Published online: March 24, 2016
Published in issue: April 12, 2016

Keywords

  1. nitrogen vacancy center
  2. nanodiamond
  3. fluorescence microscopy
  4. voltage sensing
  5. voltage indicator

Acknowledgments

We thank Igal Bayn for fabricating the Al2O3-coated samples and Tim Schröder, Florian Dolde, Edward H. Chen, Matthew E. Trusheim, Wieteke de Boer, Adam Gali, Kohei Itoh, Jose Garrido, and Jonathan Hodges for helpful discussions. Financial support was provided in part by the McGovern Institute Neurotechnology Program, the W. M. Keck Foundation, Army Research Office (ARO) Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives (MURI) Grant W911NF-12-1-0594, Simons Foundation, Jeremy and Joyce Wertheimer, National Institutes of Health (NIH) Grant 1R01NS087950, Diamond Nanotechnologies Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Grant D14PC00121, DARPA Grant HR0011-14-C-0018, and NIH Grant 1R43MH102942-01. R.S. was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant 1122374.

Notes

This article is a PNAS Direct Submission. F.J. is a guest editor invited by the Editorial Board.

Authors

Affiliations

Sinan Karaveli1
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139;
Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027;
Ophir Gaathon1
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139;
Diamond Nanotechnologies, Inc., Boston, MA 02134;
Abraham Wolcott
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139;
Diamond Nanotechnologies, Inc., Boston, MA 02134;
Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027;
Present address: Department of Chemistry, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA 95192.
Reyu Sakakibara
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139;
Or A. Shemesh
MIT Media Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139;
McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139;
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139;
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139
Darcy S. Peterka
Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027;
Edward S. Boyden
MIT Media Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139;
McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139;
Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139;
Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139
Jonathan S. Owen
Department of Chemistry, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027;
Rafael Yuste
Department of Biological Sciences, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027;
Dirk Englund3 [email protected]
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139;

Notes

3
To whom correspondence should be addressed. Email: [email protected].
Author contributions: S.K., O.G., and D.E. designed research; S.K., O.G., A.W., and R.S. performed research; S.K., O.G., A.W., and R.S. contributed new reagents/analytic tools; S.K., O.G., and A.W. analyzed data; S.K., O.G., A.W., R.S., O.A.S., D.S.P., E.S.B., J.S.O., R.Y., and D.E. wrote the paper; O.A.S., D.S.P., E.S.B., J.S.O., and R.Y. interpreted results for sensing applications.
1
S.K. and O.G. contributed equally to this work.

Competing Interests

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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    Modulation of nitrogen vacancy charge state and fluorescence in nanodiamonds using electrochemical potential
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
    • Vol. 113
    • No. 15
    • pp. 3903-E2208

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