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Imaging the Local Charge Environment of Nitrogen-Vacancy Centers in Diamond.

Abstract

Characterizing the local internal environment surrounding solid-state spin defects is crucial to harnessing them as nanoscale sensors of external fields. This is especially germane to the case of defect ensembles which can exhibit a complex interplay between interactions, internal fields, and lattice strain. Working with the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond, we demonstrate that local electric fields dominate the magnetic resonance behavior of NV ensembles at a low magnetic field. We introduce a simple microscopic model that quantitatively captures the observed spectra for samples with NV concentrations spanning more than two orders of magnitude. Motivated by this understanding, we propose and implement a novel method for the nanoscale localization of individual charges within the diamond lattice; our approach relies upon the fact that the charge induces a NV dark state which depends on the electric field orientation.

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