Optical Science and Engineering ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-27-2020


The spatial resolution and fluorescence signal amplitude in stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy is limited by the photostability of available fluorophores. Here, we show that negatively-charged silicon vacancy (SiV) centers in diamond are promising fluorophores for STED microscopy, owing to their photostable, near-infrared emission and favorable photophysical properties. A home-built pulsed STED microscope was used to image shallow implanted SiV centers in bulk diamond at room temperature. We performed STED microscopy on isolated SiV centers and observed a lateral full-width-at-half-maximum spot size of 89 ± 2 nm, limited by the low available STED laser pulse energy (0.4 nJ). For a pulse energy of 5 nJ, the resolution is expected to be ~20 nm. We show that the present microscope can resolve SiV centers separated by ≲ 150 nm that cannot be resolved by confocal microscopy. We also review the physical properties of color centers in diamond, and we discuss possible nonlinear optics applications of the SiV color center.

Degree Name

Optical Science and Engineering

Level of Degree


Department Name

Optical Science and Engineering

First Committee Member (Chair)

Victor Acosta

Second Committee Member

Keith Lidke

Third Committee Member

Alejandro Manjavacas

Fourth Committee Member

Terefe Habteyes


super-resolution, diamond, microscopy, STED, SiV, NV

Document Type