Research Scientists

Nicola Ferralis


Research Interests: novel application of natural and artificial nanostructured materials for energy, sensing, water treatment and electronic applications; nanoscale technologies based on geological materials; carbon-based energy technologies; novel characterization techniques for subsurface engineering; synthesis and characterization of nanostructured materials; instrumentation development; science education; open source software for scientific applications.


As the founding and current director of the experimental research program in the Grossman Group, I describe our beginnings as a “true experiment”. The experimental program within the Grossman Group began in early 2011 with an empty room and lots of ideas. Our initial founding experimental strategy was to leverage the theoretical and modeling work within the group to establish validation prototypes of materials and devices. Since then, it has expanded to include projects that grew out of experimental ideas with the support of computational modeling. The experimental component of the group currently consists of two experimental laboratories, with 3 post-docs and 5 graduate students (not to mention, several highly motivated undergraduate students). Below you might find a list of project we are actively working on:


  • Solar Thermal Fuels, synthesis and application to the automotive industry
  • Towards Single Layer Photovoltaics with 2D materials
  • Nanoscale porous membranes for water desalination and filtration
  • Novel applications for organic geomaterials (from coal to oil to organic shales)
  • Novel multi-scale integrated methods and tools for chemo-mechanical characterization of materials
  • Towards making more sustainable cement: cement chemistry at the nanoscale.
  • Amorphous semiconductors for photovoltaics
  • Beyond roof-top installation of PV modules: 3D-photovoltaics
  • … and more…

If you are interested in knowing more of any of these projects, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Office: 13-5134

Phone: (617) 324-0372