Stark Tuning of Single-Photon Emitters in Hexagonal Boron Nitride

Nano Lett. 2018 Aug 8;18(8):4710-4715. doi: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b01030. Epub 2018 Jul 2.


Single-photon emitters play an essential role in quantum technologies, including quantum computing and quantum communications. Atomic defects in hexagonal boron nitride ( h-BN) have recently emerged as new room-temperature single-photon emitters in solid-state systems, but the development of scalable and tunable h-BN single-photon emitters requires external methods that can control the emission energy of individual defects. Here, by fabricating van der Waals heterostructures of h-BN and graphene, we demonstrate the electrical control of single-photon emission from atomic defects in h-BN via the Stark effect. By applying an out-of-plane electric field through graphene gates, we observed Stark shifts as large as 5.4 nm per GV/m. The Stark shift generated upon a vertical electric field suggests the existence of out-of-plane dipole moments associated with atomic defect emitters, which is supported by first-principles theoretical calculations. Furthermore, we found field-induced discrete modification and stabilization of emission intensity, which were reversibly controllable with an external electric field.

Keywords: Single-photon sources; Stark effect; hexagonal boron nitride; van der Waals heterostructures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't