Bright UV Single Photon Emission at Point Defects in h-BN

TitleBright UV Single Photon Emission at Point Defects in h-BN
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsBourrellier, R, Meuret, S, Tararan, A, St├ęphan, O, Kociak, M, Tizei, LHG, Zobelli, A
Date PublishedJUL

To date, quantum sources in the ultraviolet (UV) spectral region have been obtained only in semiconductor quantum dots. Color centers in wide bandgap materials may represent a more effective alternative. However, the quest for UV quantum emitters in bulk crystals faces the difficulty of combining an efficient UV excitation/detection optical setup with the capability of addressing individual color centers in potentially highly defective materials. In this work we overcome this limit by employing an original experimental setup coupling cathodoluminescence within a scanning transmission electron microscope to a Hanbury-Brown-Twiss intensity interferometer. We identify a new extremely bright UV single photon emitter (4.1 eV) in hexagonal boron nitride. Hyperspectral cathodoluminescence maps show a high spatial localization of the emission (similar to 80 nm) and a typical zero phonon line plus phonon replica spectroscopic signature, indicating a point defect origin, most likely carbon substitutional at nitrogen sites. An additional nonsingle-photon broad emission may appear in the same spectral region, which can be attributed to intrinsic defects related to electron irradiation.