Irene Goldthorpe

WIN Fellow, Adjunct Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research interests: nanomaterials synthesis, characterization; device integration


Professor Irene Goldthorpe’s expertise is in inorganic electronic and optoelectronic materials (mainly semiconductors and metals), with a focus on nanostructured materials such as nanowires and thin-films. The research in her group involves the synthesis of materials, device fabrication, and the characterization of materials and nanodevices.

Goldthorpe received a BASc from the University of Toronto in Engineering Science (nano-engineering option). She then completed her MS and PhD degrees in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford University where she held a Stanford Graduate Fellowship, a Julie Payette NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship, and the Intel Foundation PhD Fellowship. She was then a postdoctoral researcher at Eastman Kodak in Rochester, NY where she developed nanomaterials for solid-state-lighting (LEDs and phosphors). Goldthorpe joined the University of Waterloo in 2011.


  • PhD, Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University
  • MS, Materials Science and Engineering, Stanford University
  • BASc, Engineering Science (Nanoengineering option), University of Toronto

Irene Goldthorpe

Awards and Honours

Year Awards and Honours
2008-2009 Intel foundation PhD Fellowship
2008 Materials Research Society (MRS) Graduate Student Award
2007 O. Cutler Shepard Award for best Master of Science degree recipient in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford
2004-2007 Stanford Graduate Fellowship
2004-2006 Julie Payette Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Postgraduate Scholarship


Professor Irene Goldthorpe studies and exploits the unique properties of materials that are realized when their structure is altered at the nanoscale. Experimental characterization along with modeling guides the design and synthesis of materials with the properties desired for a particular application. These materials are then integrated into devices using nanofabrication techniques.

Professor Goldthorpe has created novel materials for a range of device applications: LEDs, solar cells, thermoelectrics, transistors, sensors, liquid crystal displays, etc. She has extensive experience in the deposition of nanostructures and thin films of both group IV (silicon and germanium) and compound semiconductor materials. She also has expertise in a variety of characterization techniques for investigating the properties and microstructure of materials (including transmission electron microscopy, scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, atomic force microscopy, photoluminescence spectroscopy, and electrical measurements).

Research Interests:

  • Synthesis of nanostructures and thin-films
  • Materials and devices for electronic, optoelectronic, and energy applications (solar cells, LEDs, transistors, sensors, etc.)
  • Characterization of material properties and microstructure, including transmission electron microscopy (TEM)


Recent publications include:

  • K.B. Kahen, I.A. Goldthorpe, M. Holland, “II-VI ​nanowire radial heterostructures”,Nanotechnology 24, 455603 (2013).
  • H.H. Khaligh, I.A. Goldthorpe, “Failure of silver​ nanowire transparent electrodes under current flow”, Nanoscale Research Letters 8, 235 (2013).
  • K.B. Kahen, I.A. Goldthorpe, J.R. Minter, “Low temperature II-VI nanowire growth using AuSn catalysts”, Journal of Crystal Growth 322, 57-62 (2011).
  • K. Roodenko, I.A. Goldthorpe, P.C. McIntyre, Y.J. Chabal, “Modified phonon confinement model for Raman spectroscopy of nanostructured materials”, Physical Review B82, 115210 (2010).
  • P.C. McIntyre, H. Adhikari, I.A. Goldthorpe, S. Hu, P.W. Leu, A.F. Marshall, C.E.D. Chidsey, “Group IV semiconductor nanowire arrays: Epitaxy in different contexts”,Semiconductor Science and Technology 25, 024016 (2010).
  • M. Koto, A.F. Marshall, I.A. Goldthorpe, P.C. McIntyre, “Gold-catalyzed vapor-liquid-solid germaniuim nanowire nucleation on porous silicon”, Small 6, 1032-1037 (2010).
  • A.F. Marshall, H. Adhikari, M. Koto, I.A. Goldthorpe, P.C. McIntyre, Y.C. Wang, L. Fu, E. Olsson, “Hexagonal close-packed structure of Au catalyst particles solidified after germanium nanowire vapor-liquid-solid growth”, Nano Letters 10, 3302-3306 (2010).
  • I.A. Goldthorpe, A.F. Marshall, P.C. McIntyre, "Inhibiting strain-induced surface roughening: Dislocation-free Ge/SiGe and Ge/Si core-shell nanowires”, Nano Letters 9, 3715-3719 (2009).
  • J.B. Ratchford, I.A. Goldthorpe, Y. Sun, P.C. McIntyre, P. Pianetta, C.E.D. Chidsey, “Gold removal from germanium nanowires”, Langmuir 25, 9473-9479 (2009).
  • J.B. Ratchford, I.A. Goldthorpe, P.C. McIntyre, C.E.D. Chidsey, “Growth of germanium crystals from electrodeposited gold in local crucibles”, Applied Physics Letters 94, 044103 (2009).
  • A.F. Marshall, I.A. Goldthorpe, M. Koto, P.C. McIntyre, J. Zhu, H. Peng, D.M. Barnett, W.D. Nix, Y. Cui, “Nanowires for energy applications: Fundamental growth studies”,Microscopy and Microanalysis 15, 144-145 (2009).
  • P.C. McIntyre, H. Adhikari, I.A. Goldthorpe, A.F. Marshall, C.E.D. Chidsey, “Group IV semiconductor nanowire arrays: Different flavors of epitaxy”, Proc. of SPIE 7406, 740601 (2009).
  • I.A. Goldthorpe, A.F. Marshall, P.C. McIntyre, “Synthesis and strain relaxation of Ge-core/Si-shell nanowire arrays”, Nano Letters 8, 4081-4086 (2008).
  • H. Adhikari, A.F. Marshall, I.A. Goldthorpe, C.E.D. Chidsey, P.C. McIntyre, “Metastability of Au-Ge liquid nanocatalysts: Ge vapor-liquid-solid nanowire growth far below the bulk eutectic temperature”, ACS Nano 1, 415-422 (2007).
  • J.H. Woodruff, J.B. Ratchford, I.A. Goldthorpe, P.C. McIntyre, C.E.D. Chidsey, “Vertically oriented germanium nanowires grown from gold colloids on silicon substrates and subsequent gold removal”, Nano Letters 7, 1637-1642 (2007).
  • J.J. Lu, L.M.Y. Yu, W.W.Y. Cheung, I.A. Goldthorpe, Y.Y. Zuo, Z. Policova, P.N. Cox, A.W. Neumann, “Poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) enhances dynamic surface activity of a bovine lipid extract surfactant (BLES)”, Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces 41, 145-151 (2005).
  • J.L. Sheriff, I.A. Goldthorpe, E.H. Sargent, “Optical limiting and intensity-dependent diffraction from low-contrast nonlinear periodic media: Coupled-mode analysis”, Physical Review E 70, 036616 (2004).

Please see Irene Goldthorpe's Google Scholar profile for a current list of her peer-reviewed articles.