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Winner of the IUPAC Prize
for Young Chemists - 2008


Andrea Rae Tao wins one of the five IUPAC Prizes for Young Chemists, for her Ph.D. thesis work entitled "Nanocrystal Assembly for Bottom-Up Plasmonic Materials."

Current address (at the time of application)

E-mail: tao@lifesci.ucsb.edu

Academic degrees

  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, May 2007, Chemistry
  • A.B., Harvard University, June 2002, Chemistry & Physics

Ph.D. Thesis

Title Nanocrystal Assembly for Bottom-Up Plasmonic Materials

Adviser Professor Peidong Yang

Thesis Committee Prof. Angelica Stacy, Dept. of Chemistry; Prof. Ronald Gronsky, Materials Science & Engineering


Plasmonic materials are emerging as key platforms for applications that rely on the manipulation of light at small length scales. Sub-wavelength metallic features support surface plasmons that can induce huge local electromagnetic fields at the metal surface, facilitating a host of extraordinary optical phenomena. In this dissertation, Ag nanocrystals and nanowires are used as building blocks for the bottom-up fabrication of plasmonic materials for photonics, spectroscopy, and chemical sensing. To begin, faceted Ag nanostructures are synthesized using a colloidal approach to regulate nucleation and crystallographic growth direction. Next, new methods of nanoscale organization using Langmuir-Blodgett compression are presented in 1-D and 2-D assemblies can be constructed with impressive alignment over large areas. Using this method, plasmon coupling between Ag nanostructures can be controlled by varying spacing and density, achieving for the first time a completely tunable plasmon response in the visible wavelengths. Lastly, these assemblies are demonstrated as exceptional substrates for surface-enhanced Raman sensing by achieving high chemical sensitivity and specificity, exhibiting their utility as portable field sensors, and integrating them nto multiplexed “lab on-a-chip ” devices......[full text; pdf file - 748KB]

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