Observation of the dynamic Jahn-Teller effect in the excited states of nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond

Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Dec 18;103(25):256404. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.103.256404. Epub 2009 Dec 17.


The optical transition linewidth and emission polarization of single nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers are measured from 5 K to room temperature. Interexcited state population relaxation is shown to broaden the zero-phonon line and both the relaxation and linewidth are found to follow a T(5) dependence for T < 100 K. This dependence indicates that the dynamic Jahn-Teller effect is the dominant dephasing mechanism for the NV optical transitions at low temperatures.