Jodok's Temperature Dependent NV Photophysics Paper published in PRL!
We present a comprehensive study of the temperature- and magnetic-field-dependent photoluminescence (PL) of individual NV centers in diamond, spanning the temperature-range from cryogenic to ambient conditions. We directly observe the emergence of the NV’s room-temperature effective excited-state structure and provide a clear explanation for a previously poorly understood broad quenching of NV PL at intermediate temperatures around 50 K, as well as the subsequent revival of NV PL. We develop a model based on two-phonon orbital averaging that quantitatively explains all of our findings, including the strong impact that strain has on the temperature dependence of the NV’s PL. These results complete our understanding of orbital averaging in the NV excited state and have significant implications for the fundamental understanding of the NV center and its applications in quantum sensing.