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ACN Seminar Series - July 2016


1) "Quantum Plasmonics and Hot Carrier Induced Processes" by Prof. Peter Nordlander, Laboratory for Nanophotonics, Rice University, USA
2) "Sustainable Plasmonics and Plasmonics for Sustainability" by Prof. Naomi Halas, Rice University, USA


1) Quantum Plasmonics and Hot Carrier Induced Processes

Plasmon resonances with their dramatically enhanced cross sections for light harvesting have found numerous applications in a variety of applications such as single particle spectroscopies, chemical and biosensing, subwavelength waveguiding and optical devices. 

Recently it has been demonstrated that quantum mechanical effects can have a pronounced influence on the physical properties of plasmons. Examples of such effects is the charge transfer plasmon enabled by conductive coupling (tunneling) between two nearby nanoparticles and nonlocal screening of the plasmonic response of small nanoparticles. 

One relatively recent discovery is that plasmons can serve as efficient generators of hot electrons and holes that can be harvested in applications. The physical mechanism for plasmon-induced hot carrier generation is plasmon decay. Plasmons can decay either radiatively or non-radiatively with a branching ratio that can be controlled by tuning the radiance of the plasmon mode. Non-radiative plasmon decay is a quantum mechanical process in which one plasmon quantum is transferred to the conduction electrons of the nanostructure by excitation of an electron below the Fermi level of the metal into a state above the Fermi level but below the vacuum level. 

In particular, Prof Nordlander will discuss external control of charge transfer plasmons for active plasmonic devices, molecular plasmonics, hot carrier generation, decay and fluorescence, and hot carrier induced processes and applications such as photodetection, photocatalysis, and phase changing of nearby media.

2) Sustainable Plasmonics and Plasmonics for Sustainability

The intense research activity of the past two decades focused on the collective electronic oscillations in high-electron-density media, known as surface plasmons, has led to multiple breakthroughs in fields ranging from chemical sensing and catalysis, to active optical devices, solar light harvesting, even nanomedicine.  

For many of these applications, the original focus on noble metals may ultimately limit their transition from the research laboratory to widely used commercial technologies.  We will describe several research directions that, as they point towards more sustainable materials, open up new research opportunities. Aluminum, the most abundant metal on earth, opens the door to new colorimetric sensing applications and opportunities for active devices. 

In applications that directly address sustainability, Prof. Halas will discuss how plasmonic nanoparticles can be used for solar distillation of liquid mixtures, providing insight into the mechanism of nanoparticle-based distillation that in certain cases allows the distillation fraction to deviate dramatically from conventional thermal distillation processes.


Prof. Peter Nordlander ( obtained his PhD degree in Theoretical Physics at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg in Sweden in1985. After postdoctoral positions at IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center at Yorktown Heights (USA) and AT&T Bell Laboratories at Murray Hill (USA) and at Rutgers University, he joined the faculty at Rice University in 1989 and is currently Wiess Chair of Natural Sciences and Professor of Physics and Astronomy, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Professor of Materials Science and Nanoengineering. He has been a Visiting Professor at University of Paris, at the Institute of Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and is presently a visiting professor in the Department of Physics at Peking University and at Wuhan University. His research background is in theoretical condensed matter and nanophysics. His current research is focused on the theoretical and computational modeling of Plasmonics and Nanophotonics phenomena. He is an associate editor of ACS Nano. He is a fellow of APS, AAAS, SPIE, OSA, and MRS and is the recipient of the 1999 Charles Duncan Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement (Rice), the 2013 Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics, the 2014 Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids, the 2015 R. W. Wood Prize for Optics, and is a Thomson-Reuters Highly Cited Researcher.

Prof. Naomi Halas is the Stanley C. Moore Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rice University, where she also holds faculty appointments in the Departments of Physics and Astronomy, Chemistry, and Bioengineering. She was a graduate research fellow at IBM Research, Yorktown, NY, and served as a postdoctoral associate at AT&T Bell Laboratories before she joined the Rice faculty. She is one of the pioneering researchers in the field of plasmonics, creating the concept of the “tunable plasmon” and inventing a family of nanoparticles with resonances spanning the visible and infrared regions of the spectrum. Halas pursues fundamental studies of coupled plasmonic systems as well as applications of plasmonics in biomedicine, optoelectronics, chemical sensing, photocatalysis, and solar energy, with a novel ‘solar steam’ technology. She is a recipient of the American Physical Society Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids and the R. W. Wood Prize of the Optical Society of America. She is author of more than 250 refereed publications, has more than fifteen issued patents, and has presented more than 500 invited talks. She was co-founder of Nanospectra Biosciences, a company developing photothermal cancer therapies based on her nanoparticles, currently in clinical trials.   She is a Member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Inventors (all USA), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Fellow of the APS, OSA, IEEE, SPIE, MRS, and AAAS. She is a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Chemical Physics Letters, Laser and Photonics Reviews, ACS Photonics, and an Associate Editor of Nano Letters.

VenueKinesis, Level 6, Seminar Room 2 (4 Fusionopolis Way, Singapore 138635)
Date27 Jul 2016
Time9 - 11am
Registration at8.45am
Please confirm your attendance by 25 Jul 2016