Spectral stability of V2 centres in sub-micron 4H-SiC membranes


Heiler J., Körber J., Hesselmeier E., Kuna P., Stöhr R., Fuchs P., Ghezellou M., Ul-Hassan J., Knolle W., Becher C., Kaiser F., Wrachtrup J.


npj Quantum Materials, vol. 9, n° 1, art. no. 34, 2024


Colour centres in silicon carbide emerge as a promising semiconductor quantum technology platform with excellent spin-optical coherences. However, recent efforts towards maximising the photonic efficiency via integration into nanophotonic structures proved to be challenging due to reduced spectral stabilities. Here, we provide a large-scale systematic investigation on silicon vacancy centres in thin silicon carbide membranes with thicknesses down to 0.25 μm. Our membrane fabrication process involves a combination of chemical mechanical polishing, reactive ion etching, and subsequent annealing. This leads to highly reproducible membranes with roughness values of 3–4 Å, as well as negligible surface fluorescence. We find that silicon vacancy centres show close-to lifetime limited optical linewidths with almost no signs of spectral wandering down to membrane thicknesses of ~0.7 μm. For silicon vacancy centres in thinner membranes down to 0.25 μm, we observe spectral wandering, however, optical linewidths remain below 200 MHz, which is compatible with spin-selective excitation schemes. Our work clearly shows that silicon vacancy centres can be integrated into sub-micron silicon carbide membranes, which opens the avenue towards obtaining the necessary improvements in photon extraction efficiency based on nanophotonic structuring.



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