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Isolated electron spins in silicon carbide with millisecond coherence times



The elimination of defects from SiC has facilitated its move to the forefront of the optoelectronics and power-electronics industries1. Nonetheless, because certain SiC defects have electronic states with sharp optical and spin transitions, they are increasingly recognized as a platform for quantum information and nanoscale sensing2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16. Here, we show that individual electron spins in high-purity monocrystalline 4H–SiC can be isolated and coherently controlled. Bound to neutral divacancy defects2,3, these states exhibit exceptionally long ensemble Hahn-echo spin coherence times, exceeding 1 ms. Coherent control of single spins in a material amenable to advanced growth and microfabrication techniques is an exciting route towards wafer-scale quantum technologies.

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Figure 1: Isolation of neutral divacancies in SiC.
Figure 2: Coherent control of single divacancy spins.
Figure 3: Spin coherence of SiC divacancies.


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The authors thank Á. Gali, B. B. Buckley, W. F. Koehl, F. J. Heremans and G. Calusine for helpful discussions. The authors also thank S. Chemerisov and A.B. Norstel for assistance preparing preliminary samples and gratefully acknowledge support from the NSF, AFOSR MURI, the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM 39211), the Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation, the Linköping Linnaeus Initiative for Novel Functionalized Materials, the Swedish Government Strategic Research Area Grant in Materials Science (Advanced Functional Materials), and the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture of Japan, Grant-in-Aid (B) 26286047.

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Authors and Affiliations



J.U.H., E.J. and N.T.S. contributed to design, growth and processing of the SiC samples. T.O. and N.T.S. contributed to electron irradiation and annealing experiments. D.J.C., A.L.F., P.A. and P.V.K. performed the optical experiments. All the authors contributed to analysis of the data, discussions and the production of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to David D. Awschalom.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Christle, D., Falk, A., Andrich, P. et al. Isolated electron spins in silicon carbide with millisecond coherence times. Nature Mater 14, 160–163 (2015).

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