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Voltage-controlled quantum light from an atomically thin semiconductor



Although semiconductor defects can often be detrimental to device performance, they are also responsible for the breadth of functionality exhibited by modern optoelectronic devices1. Artificially engineered defects (so-called quantum dots) or naturally occurring defects in solids are currently being investigated for applications ranging from quantum information science2,3 and optoelectronics4 to high-resolution metrology5. In parallel, the quantum confinement exhibited by atomically thin materials (semi-metals, semiconductors and insulators) has ushered in an era of flatland optoelectronics whose full potential is still being articulated6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18. In this Letter we demonstrate the possibility of leveraging the atomically thin semiconductor tungsten diselenide (WSe2) as a host for quantum dot-like defects. We report that this previously unexplored solid-state quantum emitter in WSe2 generates single photons with emission properties that can be controlled via the application of external d.c. electric and magnetic fields. These new optically active quantum dots exhibit excited-state lifetimes on the order of 1 ns and remarkably large excitonic g-factors of 10. It is anticipated that WSe2 quantum dots will provide a novel platform for integrated solid-state quantum photonics2,3 and quantum information processing19, as well as a rich condensed-matter physics playground with which to explore the coupling of quantum dots and atomically thin semiconductors.

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Figure 1: Device and emission spectra.
Figure 2: Quantum dot light emission.
Figure 3: Voltage-controlled quantum light generation.
Figure 4: Magneto-optical spectroscopy.


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A.N.V. acknowledges support from the Institute of Optics and National Science Foundation DMR award no. 1309734.

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R.B. and A.N.V. conceived the research. C.C. and K.G. fabricated the samples. C.C., L.K. and A.N.V. conducted the measurements. All authors discussed the data and wrote the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to A. Nick Vamivakas.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Chakraborty, C., Kinnischtzke, L., Goodfellow, K. et al. Voltage-controlled quantum light from an atomically thin semiconductor. Nature Nanotech 10, 507–511 (2015).

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