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Research Highlight | Materials Science Division

Electrometry by optical charge conversion (EOCC) using SiC defects

In a study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers indicate that due to the piezoelectric character of SiC, they obtain spatial 3D maps of surface acoustic wave modes in a mechanical resonator.

Scientific Achievement

Using the optical properties and charge state dynamics of point defects in silicon carbide (SiC) to sense high frequency (MHz-GHz) electric field fluctuations.

Significance and Impact

Provides a means for all-optical, high frequency electrometry with quantum defects with a measured electric field sensitivity of 41 (?/???)/√Hz.

Research Details

  • A simple to implement, all-optical electrometry technique based on changes in the photoluminescence due to optical charge conversion of point defects in silicon carbide using both a UV and near-IR excitation wavelengths.
  • Under near-IR excitation, the defect photoluminescence becomes darker and as an electric field is applied, this change in photoluminescence (time decay) becomes faster.
  • Technique is highly sensitive to electric fields and sensitive to high frequency (MHz-GHz) electric and strain fields, making it ideal for studying MEMs structures.


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