The analytical technique of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR1, 2) is based on coherent quantum mechanical superposition of nuclear spin states. Recently, NMR has received considerable renewed interest in the context of quantum computation and information processing3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, which require controlled coherent qubit operations. However, standard NMR is not suitable for the implementation of realistic scalable devices, which would require all-electrical control and the means to detect microscopic quantities of coherent nuclear spins. Here we present a self-contained NMR semiconductor device that can control nuclear spins in a nanometre-scale region. Our approach enables the direct detection of (otherwise invisible) multiple quantum coherences between levels separated by more than one quantum of spin angular momentum. This microscopic high sensitivity NMR technique is especially suitable for probing materials whose nuclei contain multiple spin levels, and may form the basis of a versatile multiple qubit device.