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Scientific highlights

Probing Plasmon-NV0 Coupling at the Nanometer Scale with Photons and Fast Electrons

NV - Ag nanocube coupling

The local density of optical states governs an emitters’ lifetime and quantum yield through the Purcell effect. It can be modified by a surface plasmon electromagnetic field, but such a field has a spatial extension limited to a few hundreds of nanometers, complicating the use of optical methods to spatially probe emitter–plasmon coupling. Here we show that a combination of electron-based imaging, spectroscopies, and photon-based correlation spectroscopy enables measurement of the Purcell effect with nanometer and nanosecond spatiotemporal resolutions. Due to the large variability of radiative lifetimes of emitters in nanoparticles we relied on a statistical approach to probe the coupling between nitrogen-vacancy centers in nanodiamonds and surface plasmons in silver nanocubes. We quantified the Purcell effect by measuring the nitrogen-vacancy excited state lifetimes in a large number of either isolated nanodiamonds or nanodiamond-nanocube dimers and demonstrated a significant lifetime reduction for dimers.

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Point Defects in h-BN as efficient UV quantum emitters


Single photons sources (SPS) play a central role in the experimental foundation of quantum computing. Currently, there is a large scientific effort in identifying new bright and stable single-photon emission sources, with the aim of extending the spectral range achievable by quantum emitters. In the last years low dimensional layered semiconductors appeared as new promising optical materials and low energy SPS have been identified in transition metal dichalcogenides. In this work, thanks to a newly developed optical set-up integrated in a scanning transmission electron microscope, we have identified a new very bright UV single photon emitter in hexagonal boron nitride. Read more »


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