Through the design of new optical materials and microscopies, we observe chemical and biological processes as they unfold with nanometer scale resolution. We then use these observations to improve energy-relevant processes (such as photocatalysis and energy storage) and medical diagnostics and therapeutics.
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What is a typical day like for a researcher in our group? Check out our videos to learn more about our science and our culture. If you like what you see and want to join our team, please send us your resume. We're always on the lookout for smart, creative people.
|Group Video, June 2015||Russian River Canoe Trip, July 2014|
|Upconversion||Nanoscale optical tomography|
November 9: Jen presented at the Nature Conference on Integrated Nanophotonics in Nanjing! Thank you Alberto Moscatelli for the invitation!!
November 7: Congratulations to Michal on her paper, “In-situ observation of plasmon-controlled photocatalytic dehydrogenation of individual palladium nanoparticles,” now published in Nature Communications!
November 5: Jen and Stefan presented on the lab's work on upconversion and dielectric metasurfaces at Corning. Thank you Waguih Ishak and Rebecca Schaevitz for the invitation!!
November 1: Welcome to new D-Lab members Claire McLellan and Lisa Poulikakos!
October 26: Jen represented the School of Engineering at the Reunion Weekend Presidents Reception with a talk on chirality.!
October 17: In celebration of National Nanotechnology Day, Katherine, Alice, and John introduced nanoscience and its various applications at the Crystal Springs Uplands Middle School. They then made some liquid nitrogen ice cream, and the students taste tested it against store-bought ice cream to feel how "nano" crystals affect the texture of ice cream. Thanks to teacher Rob Kashima for hosting, and Angela Hwang from SNSF for organizing the event!
October 12: Congratulations to Brian on his paper, “Active Polarization Control with a Parity-time-symmetric Plasmonic Resonator,” now published in Physical Review B!
September 1: Welcome to John Abendroth, our new D-Lab member!
September 8: Jen gave the plenary talk at the International Microscopy Congress in Sydney, Australia. Thank you, Simon Ringer, for the invitation!!
August 27: Congratulations to Katherine on her paper, “Visualizing Facet-Dependent Hydrogenation Dynamics in Individual Palladium Nanoparticles,” now published in Nano Letters!
August 23: Katherine, Alice and Chris (below), as well as Michal, Randy and Jen attend and present at the ACS meeting in Boston!
July 7-13: Amr, David, Fariah, Katherine, Loza, Mark, Michal and Shing-Shing attend and present at the Gordon Research Seminar on Plasmonics and Nanophotonics held in Newry, ME and attend the Conference held immediately following! Jen serves as Vice-Chair of the Conference. She will Chair the next meeting in two years, and Loza will chair the Gordon Research Seminar!
June 29: The DOE announces a new Energy Frontier Research Center, Photonics at Thermodynamic Limits (PTL). The Center includes researchers from Stanford, Berkeley, Harvard, Caltech, and UIUC, with Jen serving as Director! Read the press release here!
June 23-29: Alice attends and presents at the Gordon Research Seminar on Bioanalytical Sensors held in Newport, RI and attends the Conference held immediately following.
June 21: Congratulations to Alice on her paper, “Bright, Mechanosensitive Upconversion with Cubic-Phase Heteroepitaxial Core–Shell Nanoparticles,” now published in Nano Letters! Article
June 16 : Katherine is awarded a Centennial Teaching Assistant Award for being an outstanding TA in undergraduate physics courses!
I. Imaging Photochemistry in Real-Time:
Michal and co-workers added light-excitation capabilities to an environmental transmission electron microscope and used this unique capability to image a light-dravien phase transition in real-time. Theresults show that plasmons increase the rate of distinct reaction steps with unique time constants; enable reaction nucleation at specific sites closest to the electromagnetic hot spots; and appear to open a new reaction pathway that is not observed without illumination. The work is now published in Nature Communications!!
II. Active Polarization Control:
Brian and co-workers have recently designed a nanoscale plasmonic structure capable of acting as a tunable polarizer. Using loss and gain in a plasmonic coaxial structure, circularly polarized light can be converted to linear polarization, and linearly polarized light can additionally be rotated based on the amount of loss and gain present in the structure. This compact and reconfigurable polarizer may enable next-generation displays, modulators, and metasurfaces. Their work is published in Physical Review B!
III. Characterizing Hydrogenation Dynamics:
Katherine and co-authors used in-situ trasmission electron microscopy to characterize the hydrogenation dynamics in variously faceted Pd nanoparticles. They found that in nanoparticles, the phase transition initializes from corners and the subsequent phase progression is rate-limited by a linear process, giving insight on design principles for future energy storage materials. This work is now published in Nano Letters!
IV. Bright, Mechanosensitive Upconversion:
Alice and co-authors utilize a core-shell geometry to improve upconversion quantum yields of cubic-phase NaYF4:Yb,Er nanoparticles by nearly 20X. Exploring different shell materials, they find that strain at the core-shell interface tunes the color response of these nanoparticles to mechanical stress. Brighter, mechanosensitive upconversion promises improved imaging and sensing capabilities. This work is now published in Nano Letters!