Spin defects in hBN as promising temperature, pressure and magnetic field quantum sensors
Spin defects in solid-state materials are strong candidate systems for quantum information technology and sensing applications. Here we explore in details the recently discovered negatively charged boron vacancies (VB−) in hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) and demonstrate their use as atomic scale sensors for temperature, magnetic fields and externally applied pressure. These applications are possible due to the high-spin triplet ground state and bright spin-dependent photoluminescence of the VB−. Specifically, we find that the frequency shift in optically detected magnetic resonance measurements is not only sensitive to static magnetic fields, but also to temperature and pressure changes which we relate to crystal lattice parameters. We show that spin-rich hBN films are potentially applicable as intrinsic sensors in heterostructures made of functionalized 2D materials.