Roberto Merlin received the Licenciado en Ciencias Fisicas (M.Sc.) degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1973 and the Dr. rer. nat. (Ph.D.) degree from the University of Stuttgart, Germany, in 1978. After a postdoctoral position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan where he is currently the Peter A. Franken Professor of Physics. Since 2000, he has held a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Merlin’s research specialty is experimental condensed matter physics. His areas of expertise include various optical techniques and, in particular, spontaneous and impulsive (stimulated) Raman spectroscopy. His current interests focus on the generation and control of coherent vibrational and electronic fields using ultrafast laser and x-ray pulses, metamaterials and negative refraction. Merlin and collaborators pioneered experimental work on Fibonacci superlattices, the quantum-confined Pockels effect, squeezed phonons and near-field plates. Other significant contributions include the earliest light-scattering studies of interface phonons, folded acoustic modes and shallow impurities in GaAs/AlAs heterostructures, and the development of the technique of magneto-Raman scattering.
Merlin is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, the von Humboldt Foundation, the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Simons Foundation. Other honors include the 2006 Frank Isakson Prize of the American Physical Society and Lannin Lecturer at the Department of Physics, Pennsylvania State University. His service record includes Chair of the APS Forum on International Physics and General Chair of the Quantum Electronics and Laser Science Conference. He is also a member of the Editorial Board of the Springer Series in Solid State Sciences, and the journal Solid State Communications, and Divisional Associate Editor of Physical Review Letters.