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Opt Express. 2011 Apr 11;19(8):7914-20. doi: 10.1364/OE.19.007914.

Single defect centers in diamond nanocrystals as quantum probes for plasmonic nanostructures.

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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Institute of Physics, Newtonstrasse 15, D-12489 Berlin, Germany.


We present two applications of a single nitrogen vacancy center in a nanodiamond as quantum probe for plasmonic nanostructures. Coupling to the nanostructures is achieved in a highly controlled manner by picking up a pre-characterized nanocrystal with an atomic force microscope and placing it at the desired position. Local launching of single excitations into a nanowire with a spatial control of few nanometers is demonstrated. Further, a two dimensional map of the electromagnetic environment of a plasmonic bowtie antenna was derived, resembling an ultimate limit of fluorescence lifetime nanoscopy.

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