Defect-based quantum emitters in solid-state materials offer a promising platform for quantum communication and sensing. Confocal fluorescence microscopy techniques have revealed quantum emitters in a multitude of host materials. The ability to quickly and accurately survey emitter ensembles is important for characterizing these new quantum emitter systems. In some materials, however, optical properties vary widely among emitters, even within the same sample. In these cases, traditional ensemble fluorescence measurements are confounded by heterogeneity, whereas individual defect-by-defect studies are impractical. Here we describe a method to quantitatively and systematically analyze the properties of heterogeneous emitter ensembles using large-area photoluminescence maps. We apply this method to study the effects of sample treatments on emitters in hexagonal boron nitride, and we find that low-energy (3 keV) electron irradiation creates emitters, whereas high-temperature (850 °C) annealing in an inert gas environment brightens emitters.
Efficient Optical Quantification of Heterogeneous Emitter Ensembles