Abstract

We introduce a point-like scanning single-photon source that operates at room temperature and offers an exceptional photostability (no blinking, no bleaching). This is obtained by grafting in a controlled way a diamond nanocrystal (size around 20 nm) with single nitrogen-vacancy color-center occupancy at the apex of an optical probe. As an application, we image metallic nanostructures in the near-field, thereby achieving a near-field scanning single-photon microscopy working at room temperature on the long term. Our work may be of importance to various emerging fields of nanoscience where an accurate positioning of a quantum emitter is required such as for example quantum plasmonics.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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2009

A. Cleland, "Optomechanics: Photons refrigerating phonons," Nature Phys. 5, 458-460 (2009).
[CrossRef]

N. Verellen, Y. Sonnefraud, H. Sobhani, F. Hao, V. V. Moshchalkov, P. Van Dorpe, P. Nordlander, and S. A. Maier, "Fano resonances in individual coherent plasmonic nanocavities," Nano Lett. 9, 1663-1667 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

S. Schietinger, M. Barth, T. Aichele, and O. Benson, "Plasmon-enhanced single photon emission from a nanoassembled metal-diamond hybrid structure at room temperature," Nano Lett. 9, 1694-1698 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. Koselov, B. Grotz, G. Balasubramanian, R. J. St¨ohr, A. A. L. Nicolet, P. R. Hemmer, F. Jelezko, and J. Wrachtrup, "Wave-particle duality of single surface plasmon polaritons," Nature Phys. 5, 470-474 (2009).
[CrossRef]

X. Wang, X. Ren, K. Kahen, M.A. Hahn, M. Majeswaran, S. Maccagnano-Zacher, J. Silcox, G. E. Cragg, A. L. Efros, and T. D. Krauss, "Non-blinking semiconductor nanocrystals," Nature 459, 686-689 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. Cuche, B. Masenelli, G. Ledoux, D. Amans, C. Dujardin, Y. Sonnefraud, P. Melinon, and S. Huant, " Fluorescent oxide nanoparticles adapted to active tips for near-field optics," Nanotechnology 20, 015603 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J.-P. Boudou, P. A. Curmi, F. Jelezko, J. Wrachtrup, P. Aubert, M. Sennour, G. Balasubramanian, R. Reuter, A. Thorel, and E. Gaffet, "High yield fabrication of fluorescent nanodiamonds," Nanotechnology 20, 235602 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

B. R. Smith, D. W. Inglis, B. Sandnes, J. R. Rabeau, A. V. Zvyagin, D. Gruber, C. J. Noble, R. Vogel, E. Osawa, and T. Plakhotnik," Five-nanometer diamond with luminescent nitrogen-vacancy defect centers," Small 5, 1649-1653 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

T. Van der Sar, E. C. Heeres, G. M. Dmochowski, G. De Lange, L. Robledo, T. H. Oosterkamp, and R. Hanson, "Nanopositioning of a diamond nanocrystal containing a single nitrogen-vacancy defect center," Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 173104 (2009).
[CrossRef]

E. Ampem-Lassen, D. A. Simpson, B. C. Gibson, S. Trpkovski, F. M. Hossain, S. T. Huntington, K. Ganesan, L. C. Hollenberg, and S. Prawer, " Nano-manipulation of diamond-based single photon sources," Opt. Express 17, 11287-11293 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. Cuche, Y. Sonnefraud, O. Faklaris, D. Garrot, J.-P. Boudou, T. Sauvage, J.-F. Roch, F. Treussart, and S. Huant, " Diamond nanoparticles as photoluminescent nanoprobes for biology and near-field optics," J. Lumin., doi: 10.1016/j.jlumin.2009.04.089 (2009).

J. Tisler, G. Balasubramanian, B. Naydenov, R. Kolesov, B. Grotz, R. Reuter, J.-P. Boudou, P. A. Curmi, M. Sennour, A. Thorel, M. B¨orsch, K. Aulenbacher, R. Erdmann, P. R. Hemmer, F. Jelezko, and J. Wrachtrup " Fluorescence and spin properties of defects in single digit nanodiamonds," ACS Nano 3, 1959-1965 (2009).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2008

T. H. Taminiau, F. D. Stefani, F. B. Segerink, and N. F. Van Hulst, "Optical antennas direct single-molecule emission," Nature Photon. 2, 234-237 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Y.-R. Chang, H.-Y. Lee, K. Chen, C.-C. Chang, D.-S. Tsai, C.-C. Fu, T.-S. Lim, T.-K. Tzeng, C.-Y. Fang, C.-C. Han, H. C. Chang, and W. Fan, "Mass production and dynamic imaging of fluorescent nanodiamonds," Nature Nanotechnol. 3, 284-288 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Y. Sonnefraud, A. Cuche, O. Faklaris, J.-P. Boudou, T. Sauvage, J.-F. Roch, F. Treussart, and S. Huant, "Diamond nanocrystals hosting single nitrogen-vacancy color centers sorted by photon-correlation near-field microscopy," Opt. Lett. 33, 611-613 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. Tribu, G. Sallen, T. Aichele, R. Andr, J.-P. Poizat, C. Bougerol, S. Tatarenko, and K. Kheng, " A hightemperature single-photon source from nanowire quantum dots," Nano Lett. 8, 4326-4329 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. Giaume, M. Poggi, D. Casanova, G. Mialon, K. Lahlil, A. Alexandrou, T. Gacoin, and J.-P. Boilot, "Organic functionalization of luminescent oxide nanoparticles toward their application as biological probes," Langmuir 24, 11018-11026 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

C. L. Degen, "Scanning magnetic field microscope with a diamond single-spin sensor," Appl. Phys. Lett. 92, 243111 (2008).
[CrossRef]

J. R. Maze, P. L. Stanwix, J. S. Hodges, S. Hong, J. M. Taylor, P. Cappellaro, L. Jiang, M. V. Gurudev Dutt, E. Togan, A. S. Zibrov, A. Yacoby, R. L. Walsworth, and M. D. Lukin, "Nanoscale magnetic sensing with an individual electronic spin in diamond," Nature 455, 644-647 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

G. Balasubramanian, I. Y. Chan, R. Koselov, M. Al-Hmoud, J. Tisler, C. Shin, C. Kim, A. Wojcik, P. R. Hemmer, A. Krueger, T. Hanke, A. Leitenstorfer, R. Bratschitsch, F. Felezko, and J. Wrachtrup, "Nanoscale imaging magnetometry with diamond spins under ambient conditions," Nature 455, 648-651 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

S. Schietinger, T. Schröder, and O. Benson, "One-by-one coupling of single defect centers in nanodiamonds to high-Q modes of an optical microresonator," Nano Lett. 8, 3911-3915 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. D. Thompson, B. M. Zwickl, A. M. Jayich, F. Marquardt, S. M. Girvin, and J. G. E. Harris, "Strong dispersive coupling of a high-finesse cavity to a micromechanical membrane," Nature 452, 72-75 (2008).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

B. Mahler, P. Spinicelli, S. Buil, X. Quelin, J.-P. Hermier, and B. Dubertret, "Towards non-blinking colloidal quantum dots," Nature Mat. 7, 659-664 (2008).
[CrossRef]

2006

Y.-S. Park, A. K. Cook, and H. Wang, "Cavity QED with diamond nanocrystals and silica microspheres," Nano Lett. 6, 2075-2079 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Y. Sonnefraud, N. Chevalier, J.-F. Motte, S. Huant, P. Reiss, J. Bleuse, F. Chandezon, M. T. Burnett, W. Ding, and S. A. Maier, "Near-field optical imaging with a CdSe single nanocrystal-based active tip," Opt. Express 14, 10596-10602 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. Sundaramurthy, P. J. Schuck, N. R. Conley, D. P. Fromm, G. S. Kino, andW. E. Moerner, "Toward nanometerscale optical photolithography: Utilizing the near-field of bowtie optical nanoantennas," Nano Lett. 6, 355-360 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2005

C. Girard, O. J. F. Martin, G. Leveque, G. Colas des Francs, and A. Dereux, "Generalized bloch equations for optical interactions in confined geometries," Chem. Phys. Lett. 404, 44-48 (2005).
[CrossRef]

N. Chevalier,M. J. Nasse, J. C. Woehl, P. Reiss, J. Bleuse, F. Chandezon, and S. Huant, "CdSe single-nanoparticle based active tips for near-field optical microscopy," Nanotechnology 16, 613-618 (2005).
[CrossRef]

2004

Y. Dumeige, F. Treussart, R. Allaume, T. Gacoin, J.-F. Roch, and P. Grangier, "Photo-induced creation of nitrogen-related color centers in diamond nanocrystals under femtosecond illumination," J. Lumin. 109, 61-67 (2004).
[CrossRef]

A. Drezet, S. Huant, and J. C. Woehl, "In situ characterization of optical tips using fluorescent nanobeads," J. Lumin. 107, 176-181 (2004).
[CrossRef]

A. Drezet, M. J. Nasse, S. Huant, and J. C. Woehl, "The optical near-field of an aperture tip," Europhys. Lett. 66, 41-47 (2004).
[CrossRef]

2003

M. Brun, A. Drezet, H. Mariette, N. Chevalier, J. C. Woehl, and S. Huant, "Remote optical addressing of single nano-object," Europhys. Lett. 64, 634-640 (2003).
[CrossRef]

2002

A. Beveratos, S. K¨uhn, R. Brouri, T. Gacoin, J.-P. Poizat, and P. Grangier, "Room temperature stable singlephoton source," Eur. Phys. J. D 18, 191-196 (2002).
[CrossRef]

2001

A. Beveratos, R. Brouri, T. Gacoin, J.-P. Poizat, and P. Grangier, "Nonclassical radiation from diamond nanocrystals," Phys. Rev. A 64, 061802 (2001).
[CrossRef]

S. K¨uhn, C. Hettich, C. Schmitt, J.-P. Poizat, and V. Sandoghdar, "Diamond colour centres as a nanoscopic light source for scanning near-field optical microscopy," J. Microsc. 202, 2-6 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

K. T. Shimizu, R. G. Neuhauser, C. A. Leatherdale, S. A. Empedocles,W. K. Woo, and M. G. Bawendi, "Blinking statistics in single semiconductor nanocrystal quantum dots," Phys. Rev. B 63, 205316 (2001).
[CrossRef]

G. Colas des Francs, C. Girard, J.-C.Weeber, C. Chicane, T. David, A. Dereux, and D. Peyrade, "Optical analogy to electronic quantum corrals," Phys. Rev. Lett. 86, 4950-4953 (2001).
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2000

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

Scheme of the optical setup used for tip functionalization with a single fluorescent nanodiamond (ND); (O=microscope objective, DM=dichroic mirror, F=optical filters, BMS=beamsplitter, APD=avalanche photodiode in the single-photon counting mode). The optical excitation is launched from the polymer-coated optical tip and the NV-center fluorescence is collected by a high NA objective, filtered, and injected into a multimode optical fiber. The latter can be connected either to an avalanche photodiode (channel A), a spectrometer (channel B), or a HBT correlator (channel C). This figure also depicts the protocol used for grafting a single ND at the tip apex: as soon as the position of the selected ND is reached during lateral scanning and concomitant monitoring of the fluorescence signal through channel A, the tip is temporarily approached vertically to the surface and lifted back to its original height (the dashed line is a scheme of the tip trajectory). Subsequent optical analysis checks that the trapped ND hosts a single NV center (photon correlation, channel C) and determines its charge state (fluorescence spectrum, channel B).

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

(a) Numerically flattened topographic and (b) fluorescence NSOM images acquired simultaneously (kcps=kilo-counts per second). Images are recorded pixel by pixel by scanning the sample under the tip from left to right and top to bottom (laser power at the uncoated tip apex: 120 µW; integration time: 80 ms; scanner speed: 1 µm s-1; image sizes: 64×64 pixel2). The line cut (horizontal solid line on the topography) gives the nanodiamond size (insert) at 20 nm in the present case. The arrow in (b) marks the tip position where the nanodiamond has been embarked by the scanning tip. (c) Normalized second-order time-intensity correlation function g (2)(t) for the functionalized tip giving evidence for single NV-center occupancy in the functionalizing ND. The red curve is an exponential fit (see Appendix B). (d) Photoluminescence spectrum of a functionalized tip (integration time: 180 s). The small peak at 575 nm (indicated by a black arrow) is the zero-phonon line of the neutral NV center.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

(a) Scanning-electron micrograph of chromium structures patterned on a fused silica cover slip. (b) Numerically flattened topography of the same region. (c) Fluorescence NSOM image acquired simultanously with the scanning single-photon tip of Fig. 2 (optical power at 488 nm at the uncoated tip apex: 120 µW, integration time: 100 ms, scan height: h≤30 nm, scanner speed: 1 µm s-1, image size: 64×64 pixel2). Here, the collected light is restricted by optical filtering to the emission band of the single NV center grafted on the optical tip. (d) Cross-cut of the optical intensity along the direction indicated by a white line in (c).

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

(a) Simulation of the optical image obtained by scanning a fluorescent isotropical emitter at a constant height h=20 nm below the NSOM tip. The red curve is the theoretical result obtained with a dipolar point like source (like the NV center). It is compared with the image obtained with an usual aperture NSOM, hole radius: 50 nm, (blue curve). (b) same as (a) but for h=10 nm. The incident light polarization direction and the polarization dipole orientation of the active probe are both aligned with the scan direction.

Equations (6)

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ddτ(pepg)=(kegkgekegkge)·(σeσg),
g(2)(τ)=pe(τ)pe(+)=1e(keg+kge)τ.
CN(τ)=g(2)(τ)·ρ2+1ρ2,
CN˜(τ)=CN(τ)(1ρ12)ρ12,
CN˜(τ)=g(2)(τ)ρ2ρ12+1ρ2ρ12.
σ(ϕ)=σ0·cos(ϕ),

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