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  1. Abstract

    Nonreciprocity and nonreciprocal optical devices play a vital role in modern photonic technologies by enforcing one-way propagation of light. Here, we demonstrate an all-optical approach to nonreciprocity based on valley-selective response in transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). This approach overcomes the limitations of magnetic materials and it does not require an external magnetic field. We provide experimental evidence of photoinduced nonreciprocity in a monolayer WS2pumped by circularly polarized (CP) light. Nonreciprocity stems from valley-selective exciton population, giving rise to nonlinear circular dichroism controlled by CP pump fields. Our experimental results reveal a significant effect even at room temperature, despite considerable intervalley-scattering, showing promising potential for practical applications in magnetic-free nonreciprocal platforms. As an example, here we propose a device scheme to realize an optical isolator based on a pass-through silicon nitride (SiN) ring resonator integrating the optically biased TMD monolayer.

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  2. Strain engineering is a powerful tool in designing artificial platforms for high-temperature excitonic quantum devices. Combining strong light-matter interaction with robust and mobile exciton quasiparticles, two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (2D TMDCs) hold great promise in this endeavor. However, realizing complex excitonic architectures based on strain-induced electronic potentials alone has proven to be exceptionally difficult so far. Here, we demonstrate deterministic strain engineering of both single-particle electronic bandstructure and excitonic many-particle interactions. We create quasi-1D transport channels to confine excitons and simultaneously enhance their mobility through locally suppressed exciton-phonon scattering. Using ultrafast, all-optical injection and time-resolved readout, we realize highly directional exciton flow with up to 100% anisotropy both at cryogenic and room temperatures. The demonstrated fundamental modification of the exciton transport properties in a deterministically strained 2D material with effectively tunable dimensionality has broad implications for both basic solid-state science and emerging technologies. 
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  3. Color centers in hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) are presently attracting broad interest as a novel platform for nanoscale sensing and quantum information processing. Unfortunately, their atomic structures remain largely elusive and only a small percentage of the emitters studied thus far have the properties required to serve as optically addressable spin qubits. Here, we use confocal fluorescence microscopy at variable temperatures to study a new class of point defects produced via cerium ion implantation in thin hBN flakes. We find that, to a significant fraction, emitters show bright room-temperature emission, and good optical stability suggesting the formation of Ce-based point defects. Using density functional theory (DFT) we calculate the emission properties of candidate emitters, and single out the CeVBcenter—formed by an interlayer Ce atom adjacent to a boron vacancy—as one possible microscopic model. Our results suggest an intriguing route to defect engineering that simultaneously exploits the singular properties of rare-earth ions and the versatility of two-dimensional material hosts.

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  6. Abstract Integration of quantum emitters in photonic structures is an important step in the broader quest to generate and manipulate on-demand single photons via compact solid-state devices. Unfortunately, implementations relying on material platforms that also serve as the emitter host often suffer from a tradeoff between the desired emitter properties and the photonic system practicality and performance. Here, we demonstrate “pick and place” integration of a Si 3 N 4 microdisk optical resonator with a bright emitter host in the form of ∼20-nm-thick hexagonal boron nitride (hBN). The film folds around the microdisk maximizing contact to ultimately form a hybrid hBN/Si 3 N 4 structure. The local strain that develops in the hBN film at the resonator circumference deterministically activates a low density of defect emitters within the whispering gallery mode volume of the microdisk. These conditions allow us to demonstrate cavity-mediated out-coupling of emission from defect states in hBN through the microdisk cavity modes. Our results pave the route toward the development of chip-scale quantum photonic circuits with independent emitter/resonator optimization for active and passive functionalities. 
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  7. Color centers in wide bandgap semiconductors are attracting broad attention for use as platforms for quantum technologies relying on room-temperature single-photon emission (SPE), and for nanoscale metrology applications building on the centers’ response to electric and magnetic fields. Here, we demonstrate room-temperature SPE from defects in cubic boron nitride (cBN) nanocrystals, which we unambiguously assign to the cubic phase using spectrally resolved Raman imaging. These isolated spots show photoluminescence (PL) spectra with zero-phonon lines (ZPLs) within the visible region (496–700 nm) when subject to sub-bandgap laser excitation. Second-order autocorrelation of the emitted photons reveals antibunching withg2(0) ∼ 0.2, and a decay constant of 2.75 ns that is further confirmed through fluorescence lifetime measurements. The results presented herein prove the existence of optically addressable isolated quantum emitters originating from defects in cBN, making this material an interesting platform for opto-electronic devices and quantum applications.

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