, Volume 82, Issue 2, pp 243-246

Photochromism in single nitrogen-vacancy defect in diamond

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Photochromism in single nitrogen-vacancy optical centers in diamond is demonstrated. Time-resolved optical spectroscopy shows that intense irradiation at 514 nm switches the nitrogen-vacancy defects to the negative form. This defect state relaxes back to the neutral form under dark conditions. Temporal anticorrelation of photons emitted by the different charge states of the optical center unambiguously indicates that the nitrogen-vacancy defect accounts for both 575 nm and 638 nm emission bands. Possible mechanism of photochromism involving nitrogen donors is discussed.