Quantum-confined single photon emission at room temperature from SiC tetrapods†
Controlled engineering of isolated solid state quantum systems is one of the most prominent goals in modern nanotechnology. In this letter we demonstrate a previously unknown quantum system namely silicon carbide tetrapods. The tetrapods have a cubic polytype core (3C) and hexagonal polytype legs (4H) – a geometry that creates spontaneous polarization within a single tetrapod. Modeling of the tetrapod structures predicts that a bound exciton should exist at the 3C–4H interface. The simulations are confirmed by the observation of fully polarized and narrowband single photon emission from the tetrapods at room temperature. The single photon emission provides important insights into understanding the quantum confinement effects in non-spherical nanostructures. Our results pave the way to a new class of crystal phase nanomaterials that exhibit single photon emission at room temperature and therefore are suitable for sensing, quantum information and nanophotonics.