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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2018 Jul 25;10(29):24886-24891. doi: 10.1021/acsami.8b07506. Epub 2018 Jun 19.

Effects of High-Energy Electron Irradiation on Quantum Emitters in Hexagonal Boron Nitride.

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School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences , University of Technology Sydney , Ultimo , New South Wales 2007 , Australia.
National Institutes for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology , 1233 Watanuki , Takasaki , Gunma 370-1292 , Japan.
National Institute for Materials Science , 1-1 Namiki , Tsukuba , Ibaraki 305-0044 Japan.
Department of Chemical Engineering, Durland Hall , Kansas State University , Manhattan , Kansas 66506 , United States.


Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) mono and multilayers are promising hosts for room-temperature single photon emitters (SPEs). In this work we explore high-energy (∼MeV) electron irradiation as a means to generate stable SPEs in hBN. We investigate four types of exfoliated hBN flakes-namely, high-purity multilayers, isotopically pure hBN, carbon-rich hBN multilayers and monolayered material-and find that electron irradiation increases emitter concentrations dramatically in all samples. Furthermore, the engineered emitters are located throughout hBN flakes (not only at flake edges or grain boundaries) and do not require activation by high-temperature annealing of the host material after electron exposure. Our results provide important insights into controlled formation of hBN SPEs and may aid in identification of their crystallographic origin.


defects; electron irradiation; hexagonal boron nitride; quantum emitters; quantum photonics; single photon emitters


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