Research Interests

Our research program broadly studies the interaction between light and nanostructured materials, and particularly focuses on the emergent optical, electrical, and chemical properties of nanoscale materials under light concentration. By tailoring the nanoscale geometry, environment, and complex dielectric function we control the propagation of light in subwavelength dimensions, creating new materials not found in nature and improving our fundamental understanding of light absorption, emission, and carrier collection. We are especially interested in studying plasmonic materials, colloidal nanoparticles, and metamaterials, in addition to their interactions with atoms, molecules, and semiconductors. We design nanostructures using a combination of experimental and theoretical techniques, synthesize our structures using both bottom-up and top-down methods, characterize the electrical and optical properties, and ultimately integrate our designs into functional devices and systems. Our research is highly interdisciplinary and combines principles from physics, chemistry, materials science, chemical engineering, and electrical engineering. Our current research interests include: (1) improving the efficiency and reducing the cost of solar cells through nanophotonic design, (2) designing chiral materials.


  • SPIE Early Career Achievement Award
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2016
  • Marion Milligan Mason Award
  • AFOSR Young Investigator Award, 2016
  • MRS graduate student Gold Award, Materials Research Society, San Francisco, 2011
  • Demetriades-Tsafska-Kokkalis Thesis Award, California Institute of Technology, 2011

Selected Publications

  • P. Pachidis, B. M. Cote, V. E. Ferry, "Tuning the polarization and directionality of photoluminescence of achiral quantum dot films with chiral nanorod dimer arrays: implications for luminescent applications,” ACS Applied Nano Materials, 2, 5681 – 5687 (2019).
  • I. M. Slauch, M. G. Deceglie, T. J Silverman, V. E. Ferry, “Model for characterization and optimization of spectrally selective structures to reduce the operating temperature and improve the energy yield of photovoltaic modules,” ACS Applied Energy Materials, 2, 3614 - 3623 (2019).
  • D. B. Dement, M. K. Quan, V. E. Ferry, "Nanoscale patterning of colloidal nanocrystal films for nanophotonic applications using direct write electron beam lithography," ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 11, 14970 – 14979 (2019).
  • S. K. E. Hill*, R. Connell*, C. Peterson, J. Hollinger, M. A. Hillmyer, U. Kortshagen†, and V. E. Ferry†, “Silicon quantum dot – poly(methyl methacrylate) nanocomposites with reduced light scattering for luminescent solar concentrators,” ACS Photonics, 6, 170 – 180 (2019).
  • M. Puri and V.E. Ferry, "Circular dichroism of CdSe nanocrystals bound by chiral carboxylic acids," ACS Nano, 11, 12240-12246 (2017).
Vivian Ferry in Lab


Phone: 612/625-7522

Office: 431 Amundson Hall

Research Group Site

Support Vivian Ferry's Research

  • B.S., Chemistry, University of Chicago, 2006
  • Ph.D., Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, 2011
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Materials Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, 2011 - 2014