American Chemical Society
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Solvent-Exfoliated Hexagonal Boron Nitride Nanoflakes for Quantum Emitters

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journal contribution
posted on 2021-10-01, 19:10 authored by Yongliang Chen, Mika T. Westerhausen, Chi Li, Simon White, Carlo Bradac, Avi Bendavid, Milos Toth, Igor Aharonovich, Toan Trong Tran
Quantum emitters in hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) flakes have recently emerged as a promising platform for nanophotonic and quantum applications. The solvent-exfoliation process of these flakes has, however, remained largely unexplored. In this work, we demonstrate a surfactant-assisted exfoliation technique in an aqueous solution to exfoliate a variety of commercially available hBN powders into hBN nanoflakes. We show that the selection of hBN powder greatly impacts the optical properties of the resultant quantum emitters embedded in exfoliated hBN nanoflakes. We find that the sample with the best optical performance also shows the lowest impurity levels in its starting hBN powder. Our study provides further insight into quantum emitter fabrication in hBN and tailoring of their optical properties.