Three-dimensional stimulated emission depletion microscopy of nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond using continuous-wave light.
Han KY., Willig KI., Rittweger E., Jelezko F., Eggeling C., Hell SW.
Charged nitrogen-vacancy (NV) color centers in diamond are excellent luminescence sources for far-field fluorescence nanoscopy by stimulated emission depletion (STED). Here we show that these photostable color centers can be visualized by STED using simple continuous-wave or high repetition pulsed lasers (76 MHz) at wavelengths >700 nm for STED. Furthermore, we show that NV centers can be imaged in three dimensions (3D) inside the diamond crystal and present single-photon signatures of single color centers recorded in high density samples, demonstrating a new recording scheme for STED and related far-field nanoscopy approaches. Finally, we exemplify the potential of using nanodiamonds containing NV centers as luminescence tags in STED microscopy. Our results offer new experimental avenues in nanooptics, nanotechnology, and the life sciences.