Electrically driven single-photon emission from an isolated single molecule

Nat Commun. 2017 Sep 18;8(1):580. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00681-7.


Electrically driven molecular light emitters are considered to be one of the promising candidates as single-photon sources. However, it is yet to be demonstrated that electrically driven single-photon emission can indeed be generated from an isolated single molecule notwithstanding fluorescence quenching and technical challenges. Here, we report such electrically driven single-photon emission from a well-defined single molecule located inside a precisely controlled nanocavity in a scanning tunneling microscope. The effective quenching suppression and nanocavity plasmonic enhancement allow us to achieve intense and stable single-molecule electroluminescence. Second-order photon correlation measurements reveal an evident photon antibunching dip with the single-photon purity down to g (2)(0) = 0.09, unambiguously confirming the single-photon emission nature of the single-molecule electroluminescence. Furthermore, we demonstrate an ultrahigh-density array of identical single-photon emitters.Molecular emitters offer a promising solution for single-photon generation. Here, by exploiting electronic decoupling by an ultrathin dielectric spacer and emission enhancement by a resonant plasmonic nanocavity, the authors demonstrate electrically driven single-photon emission from a single molecule.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't