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Coherent control of single spins in silicon carbide at room temperature



Spins in solids are cornerstone elements of quantum spintronics1. Leading contenders such as defects in diamond2,3,4,5 or individual phosphorus dopants in silicon6 have shown spectacular progress, but either lack established nanotechnology or an efficient spin/photon interface. Silicon carbide (SiC) combines the strength of both systems5: it has a large bandgap with deep defects7,8,9 and benefits from mature fabrication techniques10,11,12. Here, we report the characterization of photoluminescence and optical spin polarization from single silicon vacancies in SiC, and demonstrate that single spins can be addressed at room temperature. We show coherent control of a single defect spin and find long spin coherence times under ambient conditions. Our study provides evidence that SiC is a promising system for atomic-scale spintronics and quantum technology.

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Figure 1: Observation of single silicon vacancy defects in 4H–SiC.
Figure 2: Optical properties of the single TV2 centres in 4H–SiC.
Figure 3: Optically detected electron spin resonance of a single TV2 centre at room temperature.
Figure 4: Room-temperature coherent spin manipulation of a single TV2 centre in 4H–SiC.


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We acknowledge support by the EU via SQUTEC, SIQS and QINVC; DARPA via QuASAR; DFG via SPP 1601 and Forschergruppe FOR1493 and the Max Planck Society. A.G. acknowledges support from the Lendület programme of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, and Hungarian OTKA grant nos K101819 and K106114. Support from the Knut & Alice Wallenberg Foundation (N.T.S., A.G. and E.J.), Linköping Linnaeus Initiative for Novel Functionalized Materials (N.T.S.), and the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture in Japan, Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) 26286047 (T.O.) is acknowledged. N.Z. acknowledges NKBRP (973 Program) 2014CB848700 and NSFC No. 11121403. We thank R. Kolesov, R. Stöhr, P. Hemmer, N. Mizuochi and A. Güth for fruitful discussions and experimental aid.

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M.W., S-Y.L., N.T.S., H.F., S.P. and J.W. conceived and designed the experiment; M.W., S-Y.L., T.R. and S.P. performed the experiment; M.W., S-Y.L. and T.R. analysed the data; N.T.S., I.B., T.O. and E.J. prepared materials and contributed to electron irradiation; M.W., S-Y.L., N.T.S., S.Y., I.B., A.D., M.J., S.A.M. and I.G. contributed to the fabrication of SILs; L-P.Y., N.Z. and A.G. provided theoretical support; M.W., S-Y.L., T.R., N.T.S., H.F., S.P., L-P.Y., N.Z., A.G., E.J. and J.W. discussed and wrote the paper.

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Correspondence to Sang-Yun Lee.

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Widmann, M., Lee, SY., Rendler, T. et al. Coherent control of single spins in silicon carbide at room temperature. Nature Mater 14, 164–168 (2015).

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