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Polarization dynamics of solid-state quantum emitters

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posted on 2023-03-10, 17:01 authored by Anand Kumar, Çağlar Samaner, Chanaprom Cholsuk, Tjorben Matthes, Serkan Paçal, Yağız Oyun, Ashkan Zand, Robert J. Chapman, Grégoire Saerens, Rachel Grange
Quantum emitters in solid-state crystals have recently attracted a lot of attention due to their simple applicability in optical quantum technologies. Color centers such as fluorescent defects hosted by diamond and hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) emit single photons at room temperature and can be used for nanoscale sensing. The atomic structure of the hBN defects, however, is not yet well understood. In this work, we fabricate an array of identical hBN emitters by localized electron irradiation. This allows us to correlate the dipole orientations with the host crystal axes. The angle of excitation and emission dipoles relative to the crystal axes are also calculated using density functional theory, which reveals characteristic angles for every specific defect. Moreover, we also investigate the temporal polarization dynamics and discover a mechanism of time-dependent polarization visibility and dipole orientation of color centers in hBN and diamond. This can be traced back to the excitation of excess charges in the local crystal environment. We therefore provide a promising pathway for the identification of color centers as well as important insight into the dynamics of solid-state quantum emitters.

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