Research Article

Electrical and optical control of single spins integrated in scalable semiconductor devices

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Science  06 Dec 2019:
Vol. 366, Issue 6470, pp. 1225-1230
DOI: 10.1126/science.aax9406

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Divacancies in a diode

Solid-state defects hold great promise as the building blocks for quantum computers. Most research has focused on defects in diamond, which are difficult to integrate with existing semiconductor technologies. An alternative two-vacancy neutral defect in silicon carbide (SiC) has a long coherence time but suffers from broad optical linewidths and charge instability. Anderson et al. fabricated these defects in a diode made out of commercially available SiC. Reverse voltage created large electric fields within the diode, tuning the frequencies of the defect's transitions by hundreds of gigahertz. The electric fields also caused charge depletion, leading to a dramatic narrowing of the transitions. The technique should be readily generalizable to other quantum defects.

Science, this issue p. 1225


Spin defects in silicon carbide have the advantage of exceptional electron spin coherence combined with a near-infrared spin-photon interface, all in a material amenable to modern semiconductor fabrication. Leveraging these advantages, we integrated highly coherent single neutral divacancy spins in commercially available p-i-n structures and fabricated diodes to modulate the local electrical environment of the defects. These devices enable deterministic charge-state control and broad Stark-shift tuning exceeding 850 gigahertz. We show that charge depletion results in a narrowing of the optical linewidths by more than 50-fold, approaching the lifetime limit. These results demonstrate a method for mitigating the ubiquitous problem of spectral diffusion in solid-state emitters by engineering the electrical environment while using classical semiconductor devices to control scalable, spin-based quantum systems.

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