Abstract

We investigate the spontaneous emission of a two-level quantum emitter in the vicinity of a vanadium dioxide (VO2) thin film. By taking advantage of effective medium techniques to describe the dielectric constant of the VO2, we demonstrate that, in the near-field regime, the spontaneous emission rate of both electric and magnetic dipole emitters can be maximized at the insulator-to-metal phase transition temperature of the film. We find that VO2’s thermal hysteresis curve produces clear fingerprints in the emitter’s decay process, offering a new degree of freedom to dynamically control light emission at the nanoscale. We also find that the spontaneous emission rate is a non-monotonic function of the emitter transition wavelength, presenting a pronounced peak at infrared frequencies. Altogether, our results reveal that VO2 phase transition is a promising mechanism to achieve on-demand tuning of an emitter’s lifetime.

© 2019 Optical Society of America

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