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Study of the optimal conditions for NV- center formation in type 1b diamond, using photoluminescence and positron annihilation spectroscopies.

J. Botsoa, T. Sauvage, M.-P. Adam, P. Desgardin, E. Leoni, B. Courtois, F. Treussart, and M.-F. Barthe, Phys. Rev. B 84, 125209 (2011)

We studied the parameters to optimize the production of negatively-charged nitrogen-vacancy color centers (NV−) in type 1b single crystal diamond using proton irradiation followed by thermal annealing under vacuum. Several samples were treated under different irradiation and annealing conditions and characterized by slow positron beam Doppler-broadening and photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopies. At high proton fluences another complex vacancy defect appears limiting the formation of NV−. Concentrations as high as 2.3×10^18 cm−3 of NV− have been estimated from PL measurements. Furthermore, we inferred the trapping coefficient of positrons by NV−. This study brings insight into the production of a high concentration of NV− in diamond, which is of utmost importance in ultra-sensitive magnetometry and quantum hybrid systems applications.

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