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Published January 1, 2022 | Submitted + Accepted Version
Journal Article Open

Nanoscale axial position and orientation measurement of hexagonal boron nitride quantum emitters using a tunable nanophotonic environment


Color centers in hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) have emerged as promising candidates for single-photon emitters (SPEs) due to their bright emission characteristics at room temperature. In contrast to mono- and few-layered hBN, color centers in multi-layered flakes show superior emission characteristics such as higher saturation counts and spectral stability. Here, we report a method for determining both the axial position and three-dimensional dipole orientation of SPEs in thick hBN flakes by tuning the photonic local density of states using vanadium dioxide (VO2), a phase change material. Quantum emitters under study exhibit a strong surface-normal dipole orientation, providing some insight on the atomic structure of hBN SPEs, deeply embedded in thick crystals. Next, we optimized a hot pickup technique to reproducibly transfer the hBN flake from VO2/sapphire substrate onto SiO2/Si substrate and relocated the same emitters. Our approach serves as a practical method to systematically characterize SPEs in hBN prior to integration in quantum photonics systems.

Additional Information

© 2021 IOP Publishing Ltd. Received 3 June 2021, revised 22 September 2021. Accepted for publication 29 September 2021. Published 20 October 2021. We thank S Nam for the useful discussions. This work was supported by the DOE 'Photonics at Thermodynamic Limits' Energy Frontier Research Center under grant DE-SC0019140 and by the Boeing Company. Data availability statement: The data that support the findings of this study are available upon reasonable request from the authors. Author contributions: PKJ, HA, YK, and HAA conceived and developed the idea. PKJ prepared the hBN flakes and performed AFM measurements. HA performed the optical characterization of hBN flakes and correlation measurements. PKJ and HA performed emission polarimetry of hBN quantum emitters. YK prepared VO2/sapphire sample; performed ellipsometry, full-wave simulations, optical, and AFM characterizations of VO2 thin films. SB developed and performed transfer of hBN flake from VO2/sapphire substrate onto SiO2/Si for further studies. PKJ simulated the optical response of hBN quantum emitters and theoretical estimations with inputs from all co-authors. HAA supervised all the experiments, calculations, and data collection. All authors contributed to the data interpretation, presentation, and writing of the manuscript.

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Accepted Version - Jha+et+al_2021_Nanotechnology_10.1088_1361-6528_ac2b71.pdf

Submitted - 2007.07811.pdf


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August 20, 2023
October 20, 2023