Carlos Meriles, Ph.D.

  • Professor of Physics, The City College of New York
  • Affiliate Faculty, Nanoscience Initiative


Department of Physics, City College of New York (Profile)

Research Interests

The use of electron and nuclear spins to probe the structure and dynamics of diverse systems is a field of fundamental and technological importance, at the intersection between physics, chemistry and biology. Work in my group contributes to this broad area with focus on the characterization and control of small electron and nuclear spin ensembles in condensed matter systems. A theme in this effort is the combination of optical, magnetic resonance, and nano/micro-fabrication methods to advance new, high-resolution spin sensing and imaging schemes, to generate states of high electron or nuclear spin magnetization, and to understand and control the quantum dynamics of mesoscale spin ensembles. For this purpose, my group has assembled a unique, extensive physical infrastructure that allows us to conduct a range of experiments under various conditions, including magnetic field, temperature, and optical excitation, while articulating confocal and atomic force microscopy, as well as microwave and radio-frequency control. Presently a large fraction of our effort is centered on understanding and exploiting the properties of the “spin complexes” formed by paramagnetic defects in solids and neighboring nuclei, the nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center in diamond being the best-known example. Research activities at the Meriles group include the use of near surface NV centers for nanoscale magnetic resonance imaging and sensing, the manipulation of the NV charge for quantum spintronics and data storage applications, nuclear spin hyperpolarization of solvents via chip-integrated NV-based devices, and the use of NV-hosting nano particles for cell thermometry. Additional information on the group interests can be found at

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Job History

  • 2012 – Current: Professor of Physics, The City College of New York
  • 2009 – 2012: Associate Professor of Physics, The City College of New York
  • 2004 – 2009: Assistant Professor of Physics, The City College of New York
  • 2000 – 2004: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California at Berkeley, CA
  • 1995 – 2000: Graduate Teaching Assistant, Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina


“Dynamics of frequency-swept nuclear spin optical pumping in powdered diamond at low magnetic fields”, P.R. Zangara, S. Dhomkar, A. Ajoy, K. Liu, R. Nazarian, D. Pagliero, D. Suter, J.A. Reimer, A. Pines, C.A. Meriles, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 116, 2512 (2019). Available as arXiv:1902.06805.

“Two-electron-spin ratchets as a platform for microwave-free dynamic nuclear polarization of arbitrary material targets”, P.R. Zangara, J. Henshaw, D. Pagliero, A. Ajoy, J.A. Reimer, A. Pines, C.A. Meriles, Nano Lett19, 2389 (2019). (ASAP article). Available as arXiv:1904.08563v1.

“Spin coherent quantum transport of electrons between defects in diamond”, L.M. Oberg, E. Huang, P.M. Reddy, A. Alkauskas, A.D. Greentree, J.H. Cole, N.B. Manson, C.A. Meriles, M.W. Doherty, Nanophotonics, in press. Available as arXiv:1905.07084

“13C dynamic nuclear polarization in diamond via a microwave-free ‘integrated’ cross effect”, J. Henshaw, D. Pagliero, P.R. Zangara, B. Franzoni, A. Ajoy, R. Acosta, J.A. Reimer, A. Pines, C.A. Meriles, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, in press.

“Multi-spin-assisted optical pumping of bulk 13C nuclear spin polarization in diamond”, D. Pagliero, K.R. Koteswara Rao, P.R. Zangara, S. Dhomkar, H.H. Wong, A. Abril, N. Aslam, A. Parker, J. King, C.E. Avalos, A. Ajoy, J. Wrachtrup, A. Pines, C.A. Meriles, Phys. Rev. B 97, 024422 (2018)(Editor’s choice). Also available as arXiv:1711.07576.

“On-demand generation of neutral and negatively-charged silicon-vacancy centers in diamond”, S. Dhomkar, P. Zangara, C.A. Meriles, Phys. Rev. Lett. 120, 117401 (2018). Available as arXiv:1803.06569v1.

“Orientation independent room-temperature optical 13C hyperpolarization in powdered diamond”, A. Ajoy, K. Liu, R. Nazaryan, X. Lv, P.R. Zangara, B. Safvati, G. Wang, D. Arnold, G. Li, A. Lin, P. Raghavan, E. Druga, S. Dhomkar, D. Pagliero, J.A. Reimer, D. Suter, C.A. Meriles, A. Pines, Science Adv. 4, eaar5492 (2018).

“Charge dynamics in near-surface, variable-density ensembles of nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond”, S. Dhomkar, H. Jayakumar, P.R. Zangara, C.A. Meriles, Nano Lett. 18, 4046 (2018). (ASAP article). Available as arXiv:1807.00229.

“Near-deterministic activation of single-photon emitters in hexagonal boron nitride”, N. Proscia, Z. Shotan, H. Jayakumar, P. Reddy, M. Dollar, A. Alkauskas, M.W. Doherty, C.A. Meriles, V.M. Menon, Optica5, 1128 (2018). Chosen as Cover Article. Available  as arXiv:1712.01352

“Non-volatile quantum memory enables sensor unlimited nanoscale spectroscopy of finite quantum systems”, M. Pfender, N. Aslam, H. Sumiya, S. Onoda, P. Neumann, J. Isoya, C.A. Meriles, J. Wrachtrup, Nature Commun. 8, 834 (2017). Available as arXiv: 1610.05675v1.

“Long-distance excitation of nitrogen-vacancy centers in diamond via propagating surface spin waves”, D. Kikuchi, D. Prananto, K. Hayashi, A. Laraoui, N. Mizuochi, M. Hatano, E. Saitoh, Y. Kim, C.A. Meriles, T. An, Appl. Phys. Express 10, 103004 (2017). Available as arXiv: 1708.00596

Abdelghani Laraoui, Halley Aycock-Rizzo, Yang Gao, Xi Lu, Elisa Riedo and Carlos Meriles, Imaging thermal conductivity with nanoscale resolution using a scanning spin probeNature Communications2015, 6, 8954.

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