Photoluminescence of silicon-vacancy defects in nanodiamonds of different chondrites

Shiryaev, A. A., Fisenko, A. V., Semjonova, L. F., Khomich, A. A. and Vlasov, I. I. (2015)

Meteoritics & Planetary Science. doi: 10.1111/maps.12450


Photoluminescence spectra show that silicon impurity is present in lattice of some nanodiamond grains (ND) of various chondrites as a silicon-vacancy (SiV) defect. The relative intensity of the SiV band in the diamond-rich separates depends on chemical composition of meteorites and on size of ND grains. The strongest signal is found for the size separates enriched in small grains; thus, confirming our earlier conclusion that the SiV defects preferentially reside in the smallest (≤2 nm) grains. The difference in relative intensities of the SiV luminescence in the diamond-rich separates of individual meteorites are due to variable conditions of thermal metamorphism of their parent bodies and/or uneven sampling of nanodiamond populations. Annealing of separates in air eliminates surface sp2-carbon; consequently, the SiV luminescence is enhanced. Strong and well-defined luminescence and absorption of the SiV defect is a promising feature to locate cold (<250 °C) nanodiamonds in space.[/su_quote]