Rice University logo

Isabell Thomann

Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Novel applications of nanophotonics, employing engineered metallic (plasmonic) and dielectric nanostructures, now enable unprecedented control over the flow of light and its spatial localization into tiny volumes. In a second exciting area of research, the temporal confinement of light down to attosecond durations has just become possible. We leverage advances in both these areas to create novel materials and nanostructures, to study their optical, electrical and catalytic properties, and use them to solve practical problems, e.g. in the areas of energy and photocatalysis.


Bahauddin, S. M.; Robatjazi, H.; Thomann, I Broadband absorption engineering to enhance light absorption in monolayer MoS2.  

Bahauddin, S. M.; Robatjazi, H.; Doiron, C. Fabrication of MoS2 nanodisk arrays using nanosphere lithography.  

Robatjazi, H.; Bahauddin, S. M.; Macfarlan, L. H.*; Fu, S.*; Thomann, I. Ultra-thin AAO membrane as a generic template for sub-100 nm nanostructure fabrication.  Chemistry of Materials

“Direct Plasmon-Driven Photoelectrocatalysis”
Robatjazi, H.; Bahauddin, S. M.; Doiron, C.; Thomann, I.,
Nano Lett., 2015, ASAP

“Light trapping for solar fuel generation with Mie resonances”
Kim, S.J.; Thomann, I.; Park, J.; Kang, J.-H.; Vasudev, A.; Brongersma, M.L.,

Nano Lett., 2014, 14 (3),1446–1452


“Self-assembly based plasmonic arrays tuned by atomic layer deposition for extreme visible light absorption”
Hägglund, C.; Zeltzer, G.; Ruiz, R.; Thomann, I.; Lee, H.-B.-R.; Brongersma, M.L.; and Bent, S.F., Nano Lett. 13, 3352−3357 (2013).

“Plasmon Enhanced Solar-to-Fuel Energy Conversion”
Thomann, I.; Pinaud, B.A.; Chen, Z.; Clemens, B.M.; Jaramillo, T.F.; Brongersma, M.L.,
Nano Lett. 2011, 11, 3440–3446

  • Featured in the MRS Bulletin, Vol. 36, October 2011, “Energy Focus: Surface plasmons used to enhance solar-to-fuel energy conversion”
  • Featured in IEEE Spectrum, August 2011, “Optical Antennas Improve Hydrogen Production”
  • Highlighted in the ArXiv blog of MIT Technology Review 03/05/2011

“Scanning Photoionization Microscopy: Ultrafast Plasmon-Mediated Electron Ejection Dynamics in Au Nanorods”
Schweikhard, V.; Grubisic, A.; Baker, T. A.; Thomann, I.; Nesbitt, D. J.,
ACS Nano, 2011, 5 (5), pp 3724–3735

Isabell Thomann's Research Group

  • Diploma Physics (2001) Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zürich
  • Ph.D. Physics (2009) University of Colorado at Boulder
  • Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Department of Materials Science and NanoEngineering
  • Energy, photocatalysis, ultrafast spectroscopy and nanophotonics
Email: Isabell.Thomann@rice.edu
Phone: 713-348-4392
Office: Brockman Hall, 331