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Title: Room-temperature near-infrared silicon carbide nanocrystalline emitters based on optically aligned spin defects

Bulk silicon carbide (SiC) is a very promising material system for bio-applications and quantum sensing. However, its optical activity lies beyond the near infrared spectral window for in-vivo imaging and fiber communications due to a large forbidden energy gap. Here, we report the fabrication of SiC nanocrystals and isolation of different nanocrystal fractions ranged from 600 nm down to 60 nm in size. The structural analysis reveals further fragmentation of the smallest nanocrystals into ca. 10-nm-size clusters of high crystalline quality, separated by amorphization areas. We use neutron irradiation to create silicon vacancies, demonstrating near infrared photoluminescence. Finally, we detect room-temperature spin resonances of these silicon vacancies hosted in SiC nanocrystals. This opens intriguing perspectives to use them not only as in-vivo luminescent markers but also as magnetic field and temperature sensors, allowing for monitoring various physical, chemical, and biological processes.
Authors:
 [1] ; ; ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [5] ; ; ;  [6] ;  [2] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;
  1. Institute of Organic Chemistry, Julius-Maximilian University of Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg (Germany)
  2. Experimental Physics VI, Julius-Maximilian University of Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg (Germany)
  3. Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen Research Centre for Complex Material Systems (RCCM), Julius-Maximilian University of Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg (Germany)
  4. (Germany)
  5. Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology, Atominstitut, TU Wien, 1020 Wien (Austria)
  6. Ioffe Physical-Technical Institute, 194021 St. Petersburg (Russian Federation)
  7. (RCCM), Julius-Maximilian University of Würzburg, 97074 Würzburg (Germany)
  8. (ZAE Bayern), 97074 Würzburg (Germany)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22395554
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied Physics Letters; Journal Volume: 105; Journal Issue: 24; Other Information: (c) 2014 AIP Publishing LLC; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY; AMORPHOUS STATE; CRYSTALS; ENERGY GAP; FABRICATION; FIBERS; IRRADIATION; MAGNETIC FIELDS; NANOSTRUCTURES; NEUTRON FLUENCE; OPTICAL ACTIVITY; PHOTOLUMINESCENCE; PHYSICAL RADIATION EFFECTS; SENSORS; SILICON; SILICON CARBIDES; SPIN; TEMPERATURE RANGE 0273-0400 K; VACANCIES