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  1. Quantum light sources play a fundamental role in quantum technologies ranging from quantum networking to quantum sensing and computation. The development of these technologies requires scalable platforms, and the recent discovery of quantum light sources in silicon represents an exciting and promising prospect for scalability. The usual process for creating color centers in silicon involves carbon implantation into silicon, followed by rapid thermal annealing. However, the dependence of critical optical properties, such as the inhomogeneous broadening, the density, and the signal-to-background ratio, on centers implantation steps is poorly understood. We investigate the role of rapid thermal annealing on the dynamic of the formation of single color centers in silicon. We find that the density and the inhomogeneous broadening greatly depend on the annealing time. We attribute the observations to nanoscale thermal processes occurring around single centers and leading to local strain fluctuations. Our experimental observation is supported by theoretical modeling based on first principles calculations. The results indicate that annealing is currently the main step limiting the scalable manufacturing of color centers in silicon.

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  2. We offer a perspective on the prospects of ultrafast spintronics and opto-magnetism as a pathway to high-performance, energy-efficient, and non-volatile embedded memory in digital integrated circuit applications. Conventional spintronic devices, such as spin-transfer-torque magnetic-resistive random-access memory (STT-MRAM) and spin–orbit torque MRAM, are promising due to their non-volatility, energy-efficiency, and high endurance. STT-MRAMs are now entering into the commercial market; however, they are limited in write speed to the nanosecond timescale. Improvement in the write speed of spintronic devices can significantly increase their usefulness as viable alternatives to the existing CMOS-based devices. In this article, we discuss recent studies that advance the field of ultrafast spintronics and opto-magnetism. An optimized ferromagnet–ferrimagnet exchange-coupled magnetic stack, which can serve as the free layer of a magnetic tunnel junction (MTJ), can be optically switched in as fast as ∼3 ps. Integration of ultrafast magnetic switching of a similar stack into an MTJ device has enabled electrical readout of the switched state using a relatively larger tunneling magnetoresistance ratio. Purely electronic ultrafast spin–orbit torque induced switching of a ferromagnet has been demonstrated using ∼6 ps long charge current pulses. We conclude our Perspective by discussing some of the challenges that remain to be addressed to accelerate ultrafast spintronics technologies toward practical implementation in high-performance digital information processing systems.

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