All-optical control and super-resolution imaging of quantum emitters in layered materials

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Nature Communications, 2018, 9 (1)
Issue Date:
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© 2018 The Author(s). Layered van der Waals materials are emerging as compelling two-dimensional platforms for nanophotonics, polaritonics, valleytronics and spintronics, and have the potential to transform applications in sensing, imaging and quantum information processing. Among these, hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is known to host ultra-bright, room-temperature quantum emitters, whose nature is yet to be fully understood. Here we present a set of measurements that give unique insight into the photophysical properties and level structure of hBN quantum emitters. Specifically, we report the existence of a class of hBN quantum emitters with a fast-decaying intermediate and a long-lived metastable state accessible from the first excited electronic state. Furthermore, by means of a two-laser repumping scheme, we show an enhanced photoluminescence and emission intensity, which can be utilized to realize a new modality of far-field super-resolution imaging. Our findings expand current understanding of quantum emitters in hBN and show new potential ways of harnessing their nonlinear optical properties in sub-diffraction nanoscopy.
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