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Personal profile

Research interests

Nanophotonics is the branch of science that studies the light-matter interaction on a scale one million times smaller than a grain of sand. Here, things are so small we have to rethink our natural way of solving problems, and the typical top-down approach becomes inefficient. Gaining full control over the properties of artificial "meta-atoms" will enable the engineering of new materials and devices with unprecedented capabilities (such as invisibility, super-resolution imaging, bio- and quantum-computing, efficient and cost effective energy harvesting, etc.). For the first time in human history designers, scientists, and engineers, instead of sizing a problem with respect to the available capabilities, can think to provide themselves with the perfect tool even for the most ambitious goals.

Dr. Ferrera’s scientific mission is that one of exploring and unlocking the potentials of the most innovative material platforms for application in nanophotonics and quantum optics. His attention is fully focused on three of the most important aspects related to the realization of photonic devices such as numerical modelling, fabrication, and characterization. Supported by a professional and stimulating environment as well as the remarkable facilities available at Heriot-Watt University, Dr. Ferrera wants to play an important role in the upcoming technological revolution that will happen at a nanometric scale!

Research Group Contact Details

For more information please see my research group page at http://www.asn-lab.org/research-activities.html

Please visit http://www.asn-lab.org/job-openings.html for Job Openings


 Dr. Marcello Ferrera attained his master degree in micro-electronic engineering in 2005 from The University of Palermo (Italy). In 2006, he started his doctoral studies in the UOP group at INRS-EMT (Canada), led by Prof. Roberto Morandotti. In 2007, he won the FQRNT doctoral fellowship, which sponsored his research on low-power nonlinear processes in doped silica structures. In 2010, he joined the group of Prof. Thomas F. Krauss (St. Andrews - UK) where he was dedicated to the numerical modelling and fabrication of silicon-nitride-based photonic modules. In 2012 he won the Marie-Curie IOF fellowship with the project “ATOMIC” developed and carried on inside the group of Prof. Vladimir Shalaev at Purdue University (USA). In 2014, Dr. Ferrera was appointed Lecturer at the School of Engineering and Physical Sciences at Heriot-Watt University in UK, where he leads the ASN group.

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  • 1 Similar Profiles
CMOS Physics & Astronomy
Nanophotonics Engineering & Materials Science
Metamaterials Engineering & Materials Science
Oxides Chemical Compounds
Zinc Oxide Chemical Compounds
photons Physics & Astronomy
four-wave mixing Physics & Astronomy
Wavelength Engineering & Materials Science

Co Author Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 2008 2018

Degenerate optical nonlinear enhancement in epsilon-near-zero transparent conducting oxides

Carnemolla, E. G., Caspani, L., DeVault, C., Clerici, M., Vezzoli, S., Bruno, V., Shalaev, V. M., Faccio, D. F. A., Boltasseva, A. & Ferrera, M., 1 Nov 2018, In : Optical Materials Express. 8, 11, p. 3392-3400

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
zinc oxides
aluminum oxides
magnetic permeability

Dynamic Control of Nanocavities with Tunable Metal Oxides

Kim, J., Carnemolla, E. G., DeVault, C., Shaltout, A. M., Faccio, D., Shalaev, V. M., Kildishev, A. V., Ferrera, M. & Boltasseva, A., 14 Feb 2018, In : Nano Letters. 18, 2, p. 740-746 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
dynamic control
Zinc Oxide
zinc oxides

Giant nonlinear frequency shift in epsilon-near-zero aluminum zinc oxide thin films

Carnemolla, E. G., Bruno, V., Caspani, L., Clerici, M., Vezzoli, S., Roger, T., DeVault, C., Kim, J., Shaltout, A., Shalaev, V., Boltasseva, A., Faccio, D. & Ferrera, M., 2018, CLEO: Science and Innovations 2018. Optical Society of America, SM4D.7

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Zinc Oxide
Zinc oxide
Oxide films

Low-Index Materials for Enhanced Optical Nonlinearities

Devault, C., Bruno, V., Vezzoli, S., Roger, T., Saha, S., Ferrera, M., Clerici, M., Dubietis, A., Boltasseva, A., Faccio, D. & Shalaev, V. M., 15 Nov 2018, 2018 12th International Congress on Artificial Materials for Novel Wave Phenomena (Metamaterials). IEEE, p. 474-476 3 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Zinc Oxide
Phase matching
phase matching
Zinc oxide

Optical time reversal from time-dependent Epsilon-Near-Zero media

Bruno, V., Vezzoli, S., DeVault, C., Roger, T., Shalaev, V. M., Boltasseva, A., Ferrera, M., Clerici, M., Dubietis, A. & Faccio, D., 9 Aug 2018, 2018 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO). IEEE, 8426571

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Four wave mixing
four-wave mixing
Conversion efficiency
Electric fields
electric fields


Enhanced nonlinear refractive index in epsilon-near-zero materials

Faccio, D. F. A. (Creator), Caspani, L. (Creator), Clerici, M. (Creator), Ferrera, M. (Creator), Heriot-Watt University, 19 Apr 2016