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Sortino, Luca; Gale, Angus; Kühner, Lucca; Li, Chi; Biechteler, Jonas; Wendisch, Fedja J.; Kianinia, Mehran; Ren, Haoran; Toth, Milos; Maier, Stefan A.; Aharonovich, Igor; Tittl, Andreas (2024): Optically addressable spin defects coupled to bound states in the continuum metasurfaces. Nature Communications, 15 (1). ISSN 2041-1723

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Van der Waals (vdW) materials, including hexagonal boron nitride (hBN), are layered crystalline solids with appealing properties for investigating light-matter interactions at the nanoscale. hBN has emerged as a versatile building block for nanophotonic structures, and the recent identification of native optically addressable spin defects has opened up exciting possibilities in quantum technologies. However, these defects exhibit relatively low quantum efficiencies and a broad emission spectrum, limiting potential applications. Optical metasurfaces present a novel approach to boost light emission efficiency, offering remarkable control over light-matter coupling at the sub-wavelength regime. Here, we propose and realise a monolithic scalable integration between intrinsic spin defects in hBN metasurfaces and high quality (Q) factor resonances, exceeding 102, leveraging quasi-bound states in the continuum (qBICs). Coupling between defect ensembles and qBIC resonances delivers a 25-fold increase in photoluminescence intensity, accompanied by spectral narrowing to below 4 nm linewidth and increased narrowband spin-readout efficiency. Our findings demonstrate a new class of metasurfaces for spin-defect-based technologies and pave the way towards vdW-based nanophotonic devices with enhanced efficiency and sensitivity for quantum applications in imaging, sensing, and light emission.

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