11-21: Artur’s work on charge-to-photon imaging of dark point defects accepted in Science Advances. Congrats, Artur!

The application of color centers in wide-bandgap semiconductors to nanoscale sensing and quantum information processing largely rests on our knowledge of the surrounding crystalline lattice, often obscured by the countless classes of point defects the material can host. Here we monitor the fluorescence from a negatively charged nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond as we illuminate its vicinity. Cyclic charge state conversion of neighboring point defects sensitive to the excitation beam leads to a position-dependent stream of photo-generated carriers whose capture by the probe NV leads to a fluorescence change. This “charge-to-photon” conversion scheme allows us to image other individual point defects surrounding the probe NV, including non-fluorescent “single-charge emitters” that would otherwise remain unnoticed. Given the ubiquity of color center photo-chromism, this strategy may likely find extensions to material systems other than diamond.

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