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Title: Electrometry by optical charge conversion of deep defects in 4H-SiC

Optically active point defects in various host materials, such as diamond and silicon carbide (SiC), have shown significant promise as local sensors of magnetic fields, electric fields, strain, and temperature. Modern sensing techniques take advantage of the relaxation and coherence times of the spin state within these defects. Here we show that the defect charge state can also be used to sense the environment, in particular high-frequency (megahertz to gigahertz) electric fields, complementing established spin-based techniques. This is enabled by optical charge conversion of the defects between their photoluminescent and dark charge states, with conversion rate dependent on the electric field (energy density). The technique provides an all-optical high-frequency electrometer which is tested in 4H-SiC for both ensembles of divacancies and silicon vacancies, from cryogenic to room temperature, and with a measured sensitivity of 41±8(V/cm) 2/√Hz. In conclusion, due to the piezoelectric character of SiC, we obtain spatial 3D maps of surface acoustic wave modes in a mechanical resonator.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. The Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States); Tohoku Univ., Sendai (Japan)
  2. The Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States)
  3. The Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL (United States); Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 115; Journal Issue: 31; Journal ID: ISSN 0027-8424
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC (United States)
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division; National Science Foundation (NSF)
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; electrometry; silicon carbide; defects; photoluminescence; charge conversion
OSTI Identifier: