Abstract

Precise detection of surface plasmons is crucial for the research of nanophotonics and quantum optics. In this Letter, we used a single nitrogen vacancy center in diamond as a probe to detect the surface plasmon that was tuned by the thickness of a metallic film. The fluorescence intensity and lifetime of the nitrogen vacancy (NV) center were measured to obtain the information of local light–matter interaction. A nonlinear thickness dependent change of the surface plasmon was observed, with the maximum at the thickness of approximately 30 nm. With optimized thickness of silver film, the fluorescence intensity of a single NV center was enhanced 2.6 times, and the lifetime was reduced by a factor of 3, without affecting the coherence time of the NV spin state. The results proved that this system can quantitatively detect the light–matter interaction at nanoscale, and it provides an approach to enhance the fluorescence intensity of a quantum emitter.

© 2018 Optical Society of America

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