skip to main content

Title: Room-temperature single-photon emitters in silicon nitride
Single-photon emitters are essential in enabling several emerging applications in quantum information technology, quantum sensing, and quantum communication. Scalable photonic platforms capable of hosting intrinsic or embedded sources of single-photon emission are of particular interest for the realization of integrated quantum photonic circuits. Here, we report on the observation of room-temperature single-photon emitters in silicon nitride (SiN) films grown on silicon dioxide substrates. Photophysical analysis reveals bright (>10 5 counts/s), stable, linearly polarized, and pure quantum emitters in SiN films with a second-order autocorrelation function value at zero time delay g (2) (0) below 0.2 at room temperature. We suggest that the emission originates from a specific defect center in SiN because of the narrow wavelength distribution of the observed luminescence peak. Single-photon emitters in SiN have the potential to enable direct, scalable, and low-loss integration of quantum light sources with a well-established photonic on-chip platform.
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Optically active defects in 2D materials, such as hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), are an attractive class of single-photon emitters with high brightness, room-temperature operation, site-specific engineering of emitter arrays, and tunability with external strain and electric fields. In this work, we demonstrate a novel approach to precisely align and embed hBN and TMDs within background-free silicon nitride microring resonators. Through the Purcell effect, high-purity hBN emitters exhibit a cavity-enhanced spectral coupling efficiency up to 46% at room temperature, which exceeds the theoretical limit for cavity-free waveguide-emitter coupling and previous demonstrations by nearly an order-of-magnitude. The devices are fabricated with a CMOS-compatible process and exhibit no degradation of the 2D material optical properties, robustness to thermal annealing, and 100 nm positioning accuracy of quantum emitters within single-mode waveguides, opening a path for scalable quantum photonic chips with on-demand single-photon sources.
  2. Abstract High-precision placement of rare-earth ions in scalable silicon-based nanostructured materials exhibiting high photoluminescence (PL) emission, photostable and polarized emission, and near-radiative-limited excited state lifetimes can serve as critical building blocks toward the practical implementation of devices in the emerging fields of nanophotonics and quantum photonics. Introduced herein are optical nanostructures composed of arrays of ultrathin silicon carbide (SiC) nanowires (NWs) that constitute scalable one-dimensional NW-based photonic crystal (NW-PC) structures. The latter are based on a novel, fab-friendly, nanofabrication process. The NW arrays are grown in a self-aligned manner through chemical vapor deposition. They exhibit a reduction in defect density as determined by low-temperature time-resolved PL measurements. Additionally, the NW-PC structures enable the positioning of erbium (Er 3+ ) ions with an accuracy of 10 nm, an improvement on the current state-of-the-art ion implantation processes, and allow strong coupling of Er 3+ ions in NW-PC. The NW-PC structure is pivotal in engineering the Er 3+ -induced 1540-nm emission, which is the telecommunication wavelength used in optical fibers. An approximately 60-fold increase in the room-temperature Er 3+ PL emission is observed in NW-PC compared to its thin-film analog in the linear pumping regime. Furthermore, 22 times increase in the Er 3+more »PL intensity per number of exited Er ions in NW-PC was observed at saturation while using 20 times lower pumping power. The NW-PC structures demonstrate broadband and efficient excitation characteristics for Er 3+ , with an absorption cross-section (~2 × 10 −18 cm 2 ) two-order larger than typical benchmark values for direct absorption in rare-earth-doped quantum materials. Experimental and simulation results show that the Er 3+ PL is photostable at high pumping power and polarized in NW-PC and is modulated with NW-PC lattice periodicity. The observed characteristics from these technologically friendly nanophotonic structures provide a promising route to the development of scalable nanophotonics and formation of single-photon emitters in the telecom optical wavelength band.« less
  3. Abstract In recent years, quantum-dot-like single-photon emitters in atomically thin van der Waals materials have become a promising platform for future on-chip scalable quantum light sources with unique advantages over existing technologies, notably the potential for site-specific engineering. However, the required cryogenic temperatures for the functionality of these sources has been an inhibitor of their full potential. Existing methods to create emitters in 2D materials face fundamental challenges in extending the working temperature while maintaining the emitter’s fabrication yield and purity. In this work, we demonstrate a method of creating site-controlled single-photon emitters in atomically thin WSe 2 with high yield utilizing independent and simultaneous strain engineering via nanoscale stressors and defect engineering via electron-beam irradiation. Many of the emitters exhibit biexciton cascaded emission, single-photon purities above 95%, and working temperatures up to 150 K. This methodology, coupled with possible plasmonic or optical micro-cavity integration, furthers the realization of scalable, room-temperature, and high-quality 2D single- and entangled-photon sources.
  4. Abstract The cooperative phenomena stemming from the radiation field-mediated coupling between individual quantum emitters are presently attracting broad interest for applications related to on-chip photonic quantum memories and long-range entanglement. Common to these applications is the generation of electro-magnetic modes over macroscopic distances. Much research, however, is still needed before such systems can be deployed in the form of practical devices, starting with the investigation of alternate physical platforms. Quantum emitters in two-dimensional (2D) systems provide an intriguing route because these materials can be adapted to arbitrarily shaped substrates to form hybrid systems wherein emitters are near-field-coupled to suitable optical modes. Here, we report a scalable coupling method allowing color center ensembles in a van der Waals material (hexagonal boron nitride) to couple to a delocalized high-quality plasmonic surface lattice resonance. This type of architecture is promising for photonic applications, especially given the ability of the hexagonal boron nitride emitters to operate as single-photon sources at room temperature.
  5. Abstract

    The scaling of many photonic quantum information processing systems is ultimately limited by the flux of quantum light throughout an integrated photonic circuit. Source brightness and waveguide loss set basic limits on the on-chip photon flux. While substantial progress has been made, separately, towards ultra-low loss chip-scale photonic circuits and high brightness single-photon sources, integration of these technologies has remained elusive. Here, we report the integration of a quantum emitter single-photon source with a wafer-scale, ultra-low loss silicon nitride photonic circuit. We demonstrate triggered and pure single-photon emission into a Si3N4photonic circuit with ≈ 1 dB/m propagation loss at a wavelength of ≈ 930 nm. We also observe resonance fluorescence in the strong drive regime, showing promise towards coherent control of quantum emitters. These results are a step forward towards scaled chip-integrated photonic quantum information systems in which storing, time-demultiplexing or buffering of deterministically generated single-photons is critical.