The Waterloo Institute for Nanotechnology (WIN) presents a seminar by Professor Catherine Murphy, from the Department of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Illinois, United States
Gold nanocrystals of controlled size and shape have tunable optical properties that enable new science. Upon illumination with resonant light, these gold nanocrystals generate plasmons (coherent oscillations of conduction band electrons). These plasmons, in turn, can produce local electric fields and heat. In this talk I will discuss four short stories about gold nanocrystals and their plasmons. In “Physics” we will discuss how molecules experience the local electric field provided by illuminated plasmonic nanorods. In “Chemistry” we will discuss how the surface chemistry of the nanocrystals can be tuned with both hard and soft shells, and how the particular chemistry at the surface dictates molecular function. In “Biology” I will discuss how these nanocrystals interact with biological fluids and living cells; and in “Ecology” I will discuss how these nanoparticles are distributed in an estuarine ecosystem as a function of surface chemistry.
Professor Murphy received two B.S. degrees, one in chemistry and one in biochemistry, from the University of Illinois in 1986. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in 1990. From 1990-1993, she was first an NSF and then an NIH postdoctoral fellow at the California Institute of Technology. From 1993-2009 Professor Murphy was a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of South Carolina. In August 2009 she joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois.
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