My past, present, and future work all revolve around the creation and study of functional nano-systems – combining nano-scale elements, probing them in different ways, and observing their behavior. By building new systems, one can encounter new behaviors, and gain insights into physical laws and emergent properties.
My current work, as a Principle Investigator, involves the creation of hybrid organic / inorganic catalysts, where organic modifications tune the catalytic activity of inorganic materials.
As a postdoctoral fellow, I studied the non-equilibrium devices known as ratchets, which use local asymmetries on the scale of tens-to-hundreds of nanometers to produce transport of particles such as electrons. The transport mechanism is fundamentally different from the common bias-driven transport, and is inspired by biological motors. The mechanism has a variety of interesting and unintuitive properties, which make it both a challenging and a highly-rewarding topic to study. I survey my past work on this site, in the pages titled “Plasmonics” and “Ratchets”. Also see a profile of me at the International Institute of Nanotechnology at Northwestern
My graduate work involved plasmonic (LSPR) gold nanoparticles, both as colloids and as nano-island films. I studied their interaction with each-other, with dielectric materials, and with fluorescent molecules. These studies produced basic knowledge about those interactions, as well as actionable information for the design of effective bio-sensors using plasmonic particles.