Temperature-dependent phonon-induced relaxation of the nitrogen-vacancy spin triplet in diamond

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Temperature-dependent spin-lattice relaxation of the nitrogen-vacancy spin triplet in diamond


M. C. Cambria, A. Norambuena, H. T. Dinani, G. Thiering, A. Gardill, I. Kemeny, Y. Li, V. Lordi, A. Gali, J. R. Maze, S. Kolkowitz


Spin-lattice relaxation within the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center's electronic ground-state spin triplet limits its coherence times, and thereby impacts its performance in quantum applications. We report measurements of the relaxation rates on the NV center's $|m_{s}=0\rangle \leftrightarrow |m_{s}=\pm 1\rangle$ and $|m_{s}=-1\rangle \leftrightarrow |m_{s}=+1\rangle$ transitions as a function of temperature from 9 to 474 K in high-purity samples. We show that the temperature dependencies of the rates are reproduced by an ab initio theory of Raman scattering due to second-order spin-phonon interactions, and we discuss the applicability of the theory to other spin systems. Using a novel analytical model based on these results, we suggest that the high-temperature behavior of NV spin-lattice relaxation is dominated by interactions with two groups of quasilocalized phonons centered at 68.2(17) and 167(12) meV.

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