Adrienne Stiff-Roberts

Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Stiff-Roberts received both the B.S. degree in physics from Spelman College and the B.E.E. degree in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999. She received an M.S.E. in electrical engineering and a Ph.D. in applied physics in 2001 and 2004, respectively, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where she investigated high-temperature quantum dot infrared photodetectors grown by molecular beam epitaxy. Dr. Stiff-Roberts joined Duke University in August 2004, and she is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Dr. Stiff-Roberts' research interests include the synthesis of multi-component and hybrid (organic-inorganic) materials using a novel approach for organic-based thin film deposition that combines solution and vacuum-processing. Known as emulsion-based, resonant infrared matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (RIR-MAPLE), this technique offers a completely new way to integrate novel functions into organic-based films and devices that are difficult, if not impossible, to achieve otherwise. Research efforts include materials synthesis and characterization to investigate the fundamental mechanisms of thin-film growth using RIR-MAPLE, as well as device fabrication and characterization for a broad range of applications (especially optoelectronic and energy devices).

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Associate Dean for Community Based Innovation in the Pratt School of Engineering
  • Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Faculty Network Member of The Energy Initiative

Contact Information


  • B.S. Spelman College, 1999
  • B.S.E.E. Georgia Institute of Technology, 1999
  • M.Sc.Eng. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2001
  • Ph.D. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2004

Research Interests

Thin-film deposition, MAPLE, hybrid perovskites, hybrid nanocomposites, organic thin films

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Lois and John L. Imhoff Distinguished Teaching Award. Pratt School of Engineering. 2021
  • Faculty Honoree. Duke University Senior Honors. 2017
  • Invited Speaker. National Academy of Engineering (NAE), EU-US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, Finland. 2016
  • Julian Abele Award for Graduate Mentor of the Year. Mary Lou Williams Center, Black Student Alliance, and Black Graduate and Professional Student Association. 2016
  • Senior Member. IEEE. 2009
  • IEEE Early Career Award in Nanotechnology for “contributions to the development of nanoscale quantum dots for infrared detection”. IEEE Nanotechnology Council. 2009
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research. 2008
  • Young Investigator Award. Office of Naval Research. 2007
  • NSF CAREER AWARD. National Science Foundation. 2006
  • Inducted. Phi Beta Kappa Society. 1998
  • Inducted. Sigma Pi Sigma Physics Honor Society. 1998
  • Inducted. Golden Key Honor Society. 1996

Courses Taught

  • MSEG 891: Internship
  • ECE 891: Internship
  • ECE 521: Quantum Mechanics

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Zhang, Buang, Sabila K. Pinky, Albert L. Kwansa, Spencer Ferguson, Yaroslava G. Yingling, and Adrienne D. Stiff-Roberts. “Correlation of Emulsion Chemistry, Film Morphology, and Device Performance in Polyfluorene LEDs Deposited by RIR-MAPLE.” ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 15, no. 14 (April 2023): 18153–65.
  • Pinky, Sabila K., Albert L. Kwansa, Buang Zhang, Adrienne D. Stiff-Roberts, and Yaroslava G. Yingling. “Effect of solvent on the emulsion and morphology of polyfluorene films: all-atom molecular dynamics approach.” Soft Matter 19, no. 9 (March 2023): 1782–90.
  • Wright, N. E., X. Qin, J. Xu, L. L. Kelly, S. P. Harvey, M. F. Toney, V. Blum, and A. D. Stiff-Roberts. “Influence of Annealing and Composition on the Crystal Structure of Mixed-Halide, Ruddlesden-Popper Perovskites.” Chemistry of Materials 34, no. 7 (April 12, 2022): 3109–22.
  • Barraza, E. T., and A. D. Stiff-Roberts. “RIR-MAPLE: Deposition of Hybrid Organic-Inorganic Perovskite Thin Films.” In Materials and Energy, 18:115–52, 2022.
  • Barraza, E. T., and A. D. Stiff-Roberts. “Phenomenological mechanisms of hybrid organic-inorganic perovskite thin film deposition by RIR-MAPLE.” Journal of Applied Physics 128, no. 10 (September 14, 2020).