I am trained as a physicist (Ecole Polytechnique/University of Cambridge, Trinity College) and electrical engineer (MIT).

My interests lie in unveiling biology at the micro/nanoscale, with emphasis in the physical mechanisms employed by "living sensors".

In particular, I aim to determine how a light-sensitive cell in a primitive placozoan relays light-dependent signals to other cells; and how butterflies migrate thousands of miles guided by Earth's (very weak!) magnetic field.

To do so, I combine single-molecule and optical tomography techniques well-adapted to biological settings, with control methods typically used in atomic and molecular physics experiments.

Honors & Awards

  • Graduate Student Award for Extraordinary Teaching & Mentoring, MIT School of Engineering (2014)
  • Faculty for the Future Fellowship, Schlumberger Foundation (2010-2013)
  • Fulbright Science & Technology Award, Fulbright Commission (2007-2010)
  • External Research Studentship, Trinity College, University of Cambridge (2005)
  • Bourse d’Excellence Eiffel, Egide (now Campus France), Ministère des Affaires Etrangères (French Ministry of Foreign Affairs) (2002-2004)

Professional Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2014)
  • Diplome, Ecole Polytechnique (2006)
  • Master of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, Trinity College (2006)

Lab Affiliations

All Publications

  • OPTICAL DIPOLE FORCES Working together NATURE PHYSICS Aiello, C. D. 2017; 13 (3): 206-207

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nphys3974

    View details for Web of Science ID 000395814000004

  • Algebraic synthesis of time-optimal unitaries in SU (2) with alternating controls QUANTUM INFORMATION PROCESSING Aiello, C. D., Allegra, M., Hemmerling, B., Wan, X., Cappellaro, P. 2015; 14 (9): 3233-3256
  • Time-optimal control by a quantum actuator PHYSICAL REVIEW A Aiello, C. D., Cappellaro, P. 2015; 91 (4)
  • Composite-pulse magnetometry with a solid-state quantum sensor NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Aiello, C. D., Hirose, M., Cappellaro, P. 2013; 4


    The sensitivity of quantum magnetometer is challenged by control errors and, especially in the solid state, by their short coherence times. Refocusing techniques can overcome these limitations and improve the sensitivity to periodic fields, but they come at the cost of reduced bandwidth and cannot be applied to sense static or aperiodic fields. Here we experimentally demonstrate that continuous driving of the sensor spin by a composite pulse known as rotary-echo yields a flexible magnetometry scheme, mitigating both driving power imperfections and decoherence. A suitable choice of rotary-echo parameters compensates for different scenarios of noise strength and origin. The method can be applied to nanoscale sensing in variable environments or to realize noise spectroscopy. In a room-temperature implementation, based on a single electronic spin in diamond, composite-pulse magnetometry provides a tunable trade-off between sensitivities in the μTHz(-1/2) range, comparable with those obtained with Ramsey spectroscopy, and coherence times approaching T(1).

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncomms2375

    View details for Web of Science ID 000316614600089

    View details for PubMedID 23361010

  • Continuous dynamical decoupling magnetometry PHYSICAL REVIEW A Hirose, M., Aiello, C. D., Cappellaro, P. 2012; 86 (6)