Plasmon-assisted chemistry

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Dept of Physics


Metallic nanostructures have revolutionized our ability to control light on the nanoscale, via the formation of electromagnetic field hot spots due to localized surface plasmons. Plasmonics has developed into one of the most exciting areas of interdisciplinary nanoscience, affecting all areas of science and technology where light is a prominent ingredient, from biosensing to optoelectronics and quantum optics. However, up to this point most research has exclusively focused on the nanoscale light confinement aspect of surface plasmons, neglecting the charge carriers involved. Here, we want to challenge this, via the development of the notion of a plasmonic nanostructure as a means to create nanoscale hot spots of chemical reactivity via site-specific control of charge transfer. This will profoundly impact the further development of nanophotonics, photocatalysis, and nanochemistry.
Surface plasmons decay on ultrafast time scales into hot carriers, and we want to establish means for their controlled extraction into desired nanoscale volumes. This will enable the development of nanoscale, site-selective surface chemistry and catalysis with high efficiency. We will develop methodologies for the spatial mapping of reactivity, and develop a physical tool kit to its control.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509486/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2022
1858779 Studentship EP/N509486/1 01/10/2016 06/09/2020 Harriet Walker