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We introduce a method for measuring the full stress tensor in a crystal utilising the properties of individual point defects. By measuring the perturbation to the electronic states of three point defects with C 3 v symmetry in a cubic crystal, sufficient information is obtained to construct all six independent components of the symmetric stress tensor. We demonstrate the method using photoluminescence from nitrogen-vacancy colour centers in diamond. The method breaks the inverse relationship between spatial resolution and sensitivity that is inherent to existing bulk strain measurement techniques, and thus, offers a route to nanoscale strain mapping in diamond and other materials in which individual point defects can be interrogated. © 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.

Original publication




Journal article


Applied Physics Letters

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