Virginia Ayres earned her Ph.D. and M.S. in Physics from Purdue University, and two B.A.s in Physics and in Biophysics from
Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Ayres is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical &
Computer Engineering at Michigan State University. Her research interests are in nanobiology and nanoelectronics
and scanning probe microscopies. Dr. Ayres is the recipient of two NASA Faculty Fellowship Awards, two
NSF Outstanding Performance Awards, and two international awards from the Japan Society for Promotion of
Science and from Tokyo Institute of Technology for research and education in Japan.
Investigates both inorganic and organic nanostructures. The small physical dimensions of nanostructures
result in new and fascinating localized and sometimes quantized interactions. At the nano (10-9 m) level,
the distinction between organic and inorganic behavior can be reduced to fundamental interactions common
to both. However, very different applications are enabled by different combinations of the same fundamentals!
Our group investigates two combinations, biocompatibility between organic and inorganic nanostructures, and
nanocircuits for applications in harsh radiation and low temperature environments.
Additionally, great emphasis is placed on the development and use of reliable nano-investigative techniques.
Scanning Probe Recognition Microscopy is a new scanning probe microscopy capability developed by our group.
High resolution electron microscopies (SEM, HRTEM and EELS) provide complmentary nanoscale information.
Confocal optical microscopy, and micro Raman and FTIR spectroscopies, are also utilized. Students are
encouraged to develop high-caliber nano-experimental expertise of their own, working with the guidance
of experts both at Michigan State University and through national and international collaborations.
In May 2020, Professor Virginia Ayres became the Campus Representative for the NASA Michigan Space Grant Consortium, of which Michigan State University is a proud Affiliate. She welcomes inquiries about MSGC’s many funding opportunities