Faculty - Laraoui

Abdelghani Laraoui

Abdelghani Laraoui

Abdelghani Laraoui
Assistant Professor

Mechanical & Materials Engineering
W312 Nebraska Hall
Lincoln, Nebraska 68588-0526
Office: (402) 472-7680


  • Ph.D. in Physics, University of Strasbourg (Louis Pasteur)
  • M.S. in Condensed and Soft Matter Physics, University of Upper Alsace

Research Interests

Atomic, molecular, optical, and plasma physics.


Dr. Laraoui earned his PhD in Physics from University of Louis Pasteur of Strasbourg (France) where he developed a time resolved magneto-optical microscope to study the magnetization dynamics of magnetic nanomaterials excited with femtosecond laser pulses. Soon after his graduation, Dr. Laraoui received a Marie Curie fellowship from the European Research Training Network to carry a postdoctoral position at the University of Kaiserslautern (Germany). He used Brillouin Light Scattering Microscopy to study the spin current induced spin-wave emission in spin-torque nano-oscillators for applications in spintronics. After that, Dr. Laraoui joined CUNY-City College of New York as a research associate to work on a methodology to use the spin of nitrogen vacancy (NV) center in diamond as a probe for high-resolution magnetic and temperature imaging at the nanoscale. In 2016, Dr. Laraoui joined University of New Mexico’ Center for High Technology Materials as a Research Assistant Professor. He used very sensitive probes based on NV centers in diamond for imaging single iron-oxide magnetic nanoparticles (size < 25 nm) and performing two dimensional NMR spectroscopy of microfluidics at the submicron scale. At UNM he was awarded three grants from NSF (DMR, CHE) as PI and CoPI, and from NIH (NIBIB) as a Co-Investigator.

Research Interests

Dr. Laraoui’ primary research focuses on developing new quantum materials based on color centers in diamond (NV, SiV, GeV), and defects in wide-bandgap semiconductors (SiC, GaN, ZnO) and two dimensional materials (hBN, TMDs) for applications in quantum sensing and quantum information processing. His current research follow three main directions:

  • Quantum sensing: nanoscale magnetic, current, and temperature mapping of condensed matter phenomena; far-field imaging of single transition metal nanoparticles (size < 20 nm).
  • Defect discovery and spectroscopy in two dimensional materials and wide bandgap semiconductors: studying the spin and optical properties of the defects, developing new quantum devices based on their performances.
  • Quantum computing: exploring magnetic, optical, and mechanical cavities for coupling distant spin-qubits for scalable quantum networks; hybrid photonics based on coupling single photon sources embedded in plasmonic materials.

These research activities are mainly experimental and involve spectroscopy (optical detected magnetic resonance, fluorescence, magneto-optics), microscopy (TEM, AFM, SEM, Near-field, Confocal, Far-field, etc.), RF/MW electronics (PCB and stripline design, RF/MW equipment and pulse control), materials processing (ion beam implantation, irradiation, high temperature annealing, acid clearing, etc.), and device fabrication (E-beam, Evaporation, etching, etc.).

Awards & Current Funding

  • 9/1/2018-8/31/2021: NSF-DMR #1809800, $389,000 ($122,500 subaward to UNL), “Objective-first sorting and time resolved diamond magnetic microscopy of superparamagnetic nanoparticles,” Role: Co-PI (former PI)
  • 7/26/2018-7/31/2021: NSF-CHE #1828744, $387,010, “MRI: acquisition of a Magnetic Property Measurement System to support research and education in the state of New Mexico,” Role: Co-PI
  • 2013: New York Academy of Sciences’ Blavatnik Award (nominated) for best postdoctoral research work on quantum sensing, New York, NY
  • 2007-2009: Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship, Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • 2005: French Optical Society’ Award to attend Spintronics Summer School, Cargese, France

Selected Publications

  • J. Smits, J. Damron, P. Kehayias, N. Mosavian, I. Fescenko, A. McDowell, A. Laraoui, A. Jarmola, V. M. Acosta. “Sub-Hertz two dimensional NMR spectroscopy of molecules using Nitrogen Vacancy centers in diamond,” Science Advances 5 eaaw7895 (2019). In the News: UNM, Phys.org.
  • P. Kehayias, A. Jarmola, N. Mosavian, I. Fescenko, F. M. Benito, A. Laraoui, J. Smits, L. Bougas, D. Budker, A. Neumann, S. R. J. Brueck, V. M. Acosta. “Solution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy on a nanostructured diamond chip,” Nature Communications 8, 108 (2017). In the news: UNM.
  • H. Jayakumar, J. Henshaw, S. Dhomkar, D. Pagliero, A. Laraoui, N. Manson, R. Albu, M. W. Doherty, C. A. Meriles. “Optical patterning of trapped charge in nitrogen-doped diamond,” Nature Communications 7, 12660 (2016).
  • A. Laraoui, H. Aycock-Rizzo, X. Lu, Y. Gao, E. Riedo, C.A. Meriles. “Imaging thermal conductivity with nanoscale resolution using a scanning spin probe,” Nature Communications 6, 8954 (2015).
  • M. E. Trusheim, L. Li, A. Laraoui, E.H. Chen, O. Gaathon, H. Bakhru, T. Schroeder, C.A. Meriles, D. Englund. “Scalable Fabrication of High Purity Diamond Nanocrystals with Long-Spin-Coherence Nitrogen Vacancy Centers,” Nano Letters, 14 (1), 32-36 (2014). In the News: NanoTechWeb, PhysicsWorld, Nature News Feature.
  • A. Laraoui, C. A. Meriles. “Approach to dark spin cooling in a diamond nanocrystal,” ACS Nano 7, 3403 (2013), arXiv:1703.03988.
  • A. Laraoui, F. Dolde, C. Burk, F. Reinhard, J. Wrachtrup, C. A. Meriles. “High-Resolution Correlation Spectroscopy of 13C Spins Near a Nitrogen-Vacancy Center in Diamond,” Nature Communications 4, 1651 (2013).
  • A. Laraoui, J. S. Hodges, C. A. Meriles. “Nitrogen-Vacancy-assisted magnetometry of paramagnetic centers in an individual diamond nanocrystal,” Nano Letters 12 (7), 3477–348 (2012).
  • A. Laraoui, J. S. Hodges, C. A. Meriles. “Magnetometry of random ac magnetic fields using a single nitrogen-vacancy center in diamond,” Applied Physics Letters 97, 143104 (2010). Selected for publication in the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science and Technology 22, 16 (October 2010).
  • H. Schultheiss, X. Janssens, M. van Kampen, F. Ciubotaru, S. J. Hermsdoerfer, B. Obry, A. Laraoui, A. A. Serga, L. Lagae, A. N. Slavin, B. Leven, and B. Hillebrands. “Direct Current Control of Three Magnon Scattering Processes in Spin-Valve Nanocontacts,” Physical Review Letters 103, 157202 (2009). Selected for publication in the Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science and Technology 20, 16 (October 2009).
  • A. Laraoui, M. Albrecht, J.-Y. Bigot. “Femtosecond Magneto-optical Kerr Microscopy,” Optics Letters 32, 936 (2007). Selected for publication in the Virtual Journal of Ultrafast Science 6, 4 (April 2007).
  • L. H. F. Andrade, A. Laraoui, M. Vomir, D. Muller, J.-P. Stoquert, C. Estournès, E. Beaurepaire, J.-Y. Bigot. “Damped Precession of the Magnetization Vector of Superparamagnetic Nanoparticles Excited by Femtosecond Optical Pulses,” Physical Review Letters 97, 127401 (2006). The Virtual Journal of Nanoscale Science and Technology 5, 10 (October 2006).

Previous Supervisors and Current Collaborators

  • Dr. Jean-Yves Bigot, PhD supervisor, Research director at CNRS and University of Strasbourg, France
  • Prof. Dr. Burkard Hillebrands, postdoc supervisor, Professor and Vice President of the Academy of Sciences and Literature Mainz and University of Kaiserslautern, Germany
  • Prof. Carlos A. Meriles, postdoc supervisor, Professor of Physics at City College of New York-CUNY
  • Prof. Victor M. Acosta, current collaborator, Assistant Professor of Physics at Center for High Technology Materials, University of New Mexico
  • Prof. Toshu An, current collaborator, Associate Professor at the School of Materials Science, Japan Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Japan
  • Dr. Marcus Doherty, current collaborator, ARC DECRA Young research Fellow at the Laser Physics Center and Physics Education Center, Australian National University Australia