Temperature Dependence of Wavelength Selectable Zero-Phonon Emission from Single Defects in Hexagonal Boron Nitride

Nano Lett. 2016 Oct 12;16(10):6052-6057. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b01987. Epub 2016 Sep 6.


We investigate the distribution and temperature-dependent optical properties of sharp, zero-phonon emission from defect-based single photon sources in multilayer hexagonal boron nitride (h-BN) flakes. We observe sharp emission lines from optically active defects distributed across an energy range that exceeds 500 meV. Spectrally resolved photon-correlation measurements verify single photon emission, even when multiple emission lines are simultaneously excited within the same h-BN flake. We also present a detailed study of the temperature-dependent line width, spectral energy shift, and intensity for two different zero-phonon lines centered at 575 and 682 nm, which reveals a nearly identical temperature dependence despite a large difference in transition energy. Our temperature-dependent results are well described by a lattice vibration model that considers piezoelectric coupling to in-plane phonons. Finally, polarization spectroscopy measurements suggest that whereas the 575 nm emission line is directly excited by 532 nm excitation, the 682 nm line is excited indirectly.

Keywords: 2D material; Single-photon source; hexagonal boron nitride; line width; point defect; zero-phonon line.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.