Efficient photon detection from color centers in a diamond optical waveguide

D. Le Sage*, L. M. Pham, N. Bar-Gill, C. Belthangady, M. D. Lukin, A. Yacoby, R. L. Walsworth

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


A common limitation of experiments using color centers in diamond is the poor photon collection efficiency of microscope objectives due to refraction at the diamond interface. We present a simple and effective technique to detect a large fraction of photons emitted by color centers within a planar diamond sample by detecting light that is guided to the edges of the diamond via total internal reflection. We describe a prototype device using this "side-collection" technique, which provides a photon collection efficiency 47% and a photon detection efficiency 39%. We apply the enhanced signal-to-noise ratio gained from side collection to ac magnetometry using ensembles of nitrogen-vacancy (NV) color centers, and demonstrate an ac magnetic field sensitivity 100pT/√Hz, limited by added noise in the prototype side-collection device. Technical optimization should allow significant further improvements in photon collection and detection efficiency as well as subpicotesla NV-diamond magnetic field sensitivity using the side-collection technique.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number121202
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number12
StatePublished - 23 Mar 2012
Externally publishedYes


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