Metastable dark States enable ground state depletion microscopy of nitrogen vacancy centers in diamond with diffraction-unlimited resolution.
Han KY., Kim SK., Eggeling C., Hell SW.
Current far-field optical nanoscopy schemes overcome the diffraction barrier by ensuring that adjacent features assume different states upon detection. Ideally, the transition between these states can be repeated endlessly and, if performed optically, with low levels of light. Here we report such optical switching, realized by pairing the luminescent triplet and a long-lived dark state of diamond color centers, enabling their imaging with a resolution >10 times beyond the diffraction barrier (<20 nm).