Eric Le Ru

Professor Eric Le Ru

Principal Investigator

Phone: 04 463 5233 x7509

Postal Address:

School of Chemical and Physical Sciences
Victoria University of Wellington
PO Box 600
Wellington 6140

Eric Le Ru studied physics at Ecole Polytechnique (Paris) and obtained a PhD in 2002, working at Imperial College London on semiconductor quantum dots for telecom applications. After a one-year postdoctoral position at Imperial College, he moved to New Zealand in 2004 as a postdoctoral fellow of the MacDiarmid institute, working with Pablo Etchegoin at Victoria University of Wellington. He is now  Professor in Physics at Victoria.

His research focuses on various aspects, both theoretical and experimental, of nano-photonics, with a particular emphasis on nano-plasmonics; i.e. the study and applications of the optical properties of sub-wavelength (i.e. typically less than 100 nm) metallic objects, and related applications in surface-enhanced spectroscopies (Raman and fluorescence). This work has resulted in over 70 publications since 2004 and was recently complemented by the publication of a book, co-authored with Pablo Etchegoin, on surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy.



Associated Content


MI Investigators successful in MBIE Endeavour Round 2016 & Smart Ideas

12 of our Investigators were successful in MBIE 2016 Endeavour Round.

MacDiarmid Investigators are involved in both ‘Smart Ideas’ and ‘Research Programmes’.


Nanocamp 2014 in Review

By Associate Professor Michele Governale From the 15th to the 17th of January SCPS hosted the 6th edition of Nanocamp, a week-long science camp sponsored by The MacDiarmid Institute for students starting their last year of high school in 2014. The selection process to be admitted to Nanocamp is extremely competitive, with the best science students in the country […]


Professor Pablo Etchegoin 1964-2013

The Board and all the members of the MacDiarmid Institute were greatly saddened at the passing of Pablo Etchegoin on Monday 29 April. Pablo had battled against cancer for three years before finally succumbing. Our thoughts are with his family particularly Sofía and Julián, Pablo’s children. Pablo joined Victoria University of Wellington and became a […]

Biology on-the-Fly

Ultra-sensitive spectroscopy – with special emphasis on single molecule Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering – will continue to grow from the recent successes in the application of the technique to reveal new aspects of the physics of isolated molecules (especially those of biological interest) on surfaces. Among recent developments, our group has demonstrated the possibility of […]

Ultra-sensitive laser spectroscopy (Etchegoin, LeRu, Tilley)

Current work is expanding on this success by investigating SERS for more complex multiple-particle nanostructure geometries. We have also expanded now into subtler aspects of single-molecule detection, like the demonstration of isotopic variations in single molecule spectra and the possibility of observing single molecules in basic geometries involving controllable enhancements. The work has been complemented […]

Optoelectronic properties of nanoscale and advanced materials (Ruck, Trodahl, Reeves, LeRu, Metson, Williams)

Several members of the rare-earth nitride series are known to be magnetic semiconductors, and we will measure their electrical conductivity and photoconductivity at room temperature and in their low-temperature magnetic phase. The results will be interpreted in terms of modern band structure calculations, and in terms of models of the crystalline defects in the materials. […]

Understanding electronic and optical properties of nanoparticles and nanostructures (Gaston, Kaiser, LeRu)

Further work will be aimed at understanding electronic transport in graphene, a new form of carbon, consisting of a single layer of carbon atoms that has many unique properties.  One focus will be graphene prepared by different techniques.  Finally, electronic structure calculations are used to characterise the development of metallicity in nanoscale metal clusters.  This […]

Raman Spectroscopy

  Being able to detect a Raman signal from a single molecule illuminated with laser light has exciting applications in new materials research and analytical chemistry.  However, the team that developed the technique is also using it to find out more about the molecules themselves.  Improving the sensitivity of the detecting technique is a key […]

New Principal Investigators

  Following the call for applications for new Principal Investigator positions in the MacDiarmid Institute 7 appointments were made to commence on 01 January 2010. They are: Martin Allen Martin in based at the University of Canterbury. His research interests are: The physical properties and device applications of metal oxide semiconduc­tors (in particular the oxides […]

The Student and Post Doc Symposium 2008 – “An Overview of Institute Expertise”

  The Symposium “An Overview of Institute Expertise” was held at Victoria University of Wellington on the 10th and 11th of November. There were 45 participants drawn from the six partner sites of the Institute and from the University of Auckland. Eric LeRu, associate investigator in the Institute, organised the symposium which coincided with a […]

Local Science – International Impacts – Single Molecules

Eric Le Ru, Matthias Meyer, and Pablo Etchegoin from the MacDiarmid Institute at Victoria University have developed a method of detecting and tracking single molecules using Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). SERS is being developed now as a possible technique to monitor extremely small quantities of molecules. Possible applications could be: revealing the presence of performance enhancing drugs, tracing illegal […]