Striving for nanometer-sized solid-state single-photon sources, we investigate atom-like quantum emitters based on single germanium-vacancy (GeV) centers isolated in crystalline nanodiamonds (NDs). Cryogenic characterization indicated symmetry-protected and bright (>106 counts/s with off-resonance excitation) zero-phonon optical transitions with up to 6-fold enhancement in energy splitting of their ground states as compared to that found for GeV centers in bulk diamonds (i.e. up to 870 GHz in highly strained NDs vs. 150 GHz in bulk). Utilizing lithographic alignment techniques, we demonstrate an integrated nanophotonic platform for deterministic interfacing plasmonic waveguides with isolated GeV centers in NDs, which enables 10-fold enhancement of single-photon decay rates along with the emission direction control by judiciously designing and positioning a Bragg reflector. This approach allows one to realize the unidirectional emission from single-photon dipolar sources, thereby opening new perspectives for the realization of quantum optical integrated circuits.
- germanium-vacancy (GeV) centers
- integrated quantum photonics
- near-field microscopy
- unidirectional surface plasmon polariton (SPP) coupler