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Deterministic fabrication of blue quantum emitters in hexagonal boron nitride

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posted on 2023-01-12, 14:32 authored by Angus Gale, Chi Li, Yongliang Chen, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, Igor Aharonovich, Milos Toth
Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is gaining considerable attention as a solid-state host of quantum emitters from the ultraviolet to the near infrared spectral ranges. However, atomic structures of most of the emitters are speculative or unknown, and emitter fabrication methods typically suffer from poor reproducibility, spatial accuracy, or spectral specificity. Here, we present a robust, deterministic electron beam technique for site-specific fabrication of blue quantum emitters with a zero-phonon line at 436 nm (2.8 eV). We show that the emission intensity is proportional to electron dose and that the efficacy of the fabrication method correlates with a defect emission at 305 nm (4.1 eV). We attribute blue emitter generation to fragmentation of carbon clusters by electron impact and show that the robustness and universality of the emitter fabrication technique are enhanced by a pre-irradiation annealing treatment. Our results provide important insights into photophysical properties and structure of defects in hBN and a framework for deterministic fabrication of quantum emitters in hBN.

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