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Putting Plasmons to Work: Electronic and Solar Conversion Opportunities
Abstract: Localized Surface Plasmons are collective electronic excitations that can be induced in nanostructures of certain metals and semiconductors. In nanostructures of silver and gold with dimensions much smaller than the wavelength of light, these modes can have the character of dipoles with resonances so intense that they correspond to oscillator strengths of many electrons. It has been known since the 1950s that when surface plasmons decay, most of their energy is initially converted into a multitude of hot electrons, which thermalize quickly to phonons. In properly engineered nanostructures, and when appropriate surface treatments are used, these electrons have time before they thermalize to make their way (ballistically) to an interface which, if they can be induced to cross, they can then be usefully engaged as conduction electrons or as reducing agents. The positive charges left behind can likewise be employed as “holes” or oxidizing agents. Some examples of such applications, such as a plasmonic photoconductor and an autonomous plasmonic water splitting device, will be presented.
Biography: Martin Moskovits is Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he also served as Susan and Bruce Worster Dean of Science from 2000 to 2007. From 2011- 2012 he was Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at The City College of New York. From 2007 to 2010 he served as Chief Technology Officer of API Technologies Corp., a publicly traded company (ATNY.OB) specializing in advanced electronics, magnetics and nanoptics for defense and communications applications, and President of its NanoOpto subsidiary. He is also a founder of Spectra Fluidics, a startup company dedicating to developing sensors based on microfluidics. He has degrees in Physics and Chemistry from the University of Toronto, where he received his PhD in 1971. In 1968 he founded OHM Distributers and manufacturers Ltd., an electronics company in Toronto, which was sold in 1970. From 1971-73 he was employed as a materials scientist by Alcan International, Kingston Ontario. He has authored and co-authored 300 papers, invented 18 patents and supervised the research of over 100 graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. His research focuses on nanotechnology, developing nanofabrication techniques in anodic alumina templates, single-nanowire-based field-effect-transistor sensors, and enhanced optical and plasmonic effects in gold and silver nanostructures. He has received many honors, the most recent of which being the 2010 Ellis Lippincott Award of the Optical Society of America.
Faculty Host: Hatice Altug
Student Host: Serap Aksu