Hexagonal boron nitride is a suitable host for single-photon emitters and single-spin centers. Strong single-photon emission has been observed, but the source was not identified. Based on advanced first-principles simulations, the origins have now been pinpointed: the 2 eV emission has been attributed to boron dangling bonds, and 4 eV emission to carbon-carbon dimers.
The 2 eV emitters also exhibit spin-dependent transitions, offering the potential for applications in quantum computation and quantum sensing.
Exciting opportunities for control of the emitters can be pursued now that the source has been identified.