Optical Studies of Self-assembling Bimetallic Nanocrystals

Interaction of light with matter is one of the oldest and most fascinating topics in science, and new light-matter interactions are being explored that could lead to technologies for solving global problems from sustainable energy to population aging and disease.

Toward the goal of designing new metallo-dielectric materials that combine the optical properties of dielectrics and of nanoscale metal particles, we are studying how shape and composition influence the optical properties of bimetallic nanocrystals via correlated single particle spectroscopy-electron microscopy analysis in collaboration with the Dragnea Laboratory (IU). We have found that stellated Au-Pd nanocrystals have unprecedented sensitivity to changes in refractive index, opening up new research in the area of chemical sensing. These nanostructures will also self-assemble into metallo-dielectric superstructures via control of building block morphology and site selective surface chemistry. We are now characterizing the collective, system-level optical properties that emerge from specific nanocrystal arrangements.

Funding is provided by NSF-CHE (2016-2019) for "Symmetry Making and Breaking in the Synthesis and Assembly of Stellated and Bimetallic Nanocrystals", NSF-CHE (2019-2022) for "Strategies toward Hierarchy and Compositional Complexity in Metal Nanocrystal Synthesis", and Indiana University - Bloomington through New Directions Faculty Research Support Program (2013) for "Synthesis and Optical Studies of Self-assembling Stellated Polyhedra" (Co-PI: Bogdan Dragnea).

For representative publications, please see:

Branched Plasmonic Nanoparticles with High Symmetry

ARTICLE LINK Smith, J. D.; Woessner, Z. J.; Skrabalak, S. E.* "Branched Plasmonic Nanoparticles with High Symmetry" Journal of Physical Chemistry C (Invited Feature Article), 2019, 123, 18113-18123. DOI: 10.1021/acs.jpcc.9b01703.


Engineering High Refractive Index Sensitivity through the Internal and External Composition of Bimetallic Nanocrystals

ARTICLE LINK Smith, A. F.; Harvey, S. M.; Skrabalak, S. E.*, Weiner, R. G.* "Engineering High Refractive Index Sensitivity through the Internal and External Composition of Bimetallic Nanocrystals" Nanoscale, 2016, 8, 16841-16845. DOI: 10.1039/C6NR04085C.


Shaping the Synthesis and Assembly of Symmetrically Stellated Au/Pd Nanocrystals with Aromatic Additives

ARTICLE LINK DeSantis, C. J.; Sue, A. C.; Radmilovic, A.; Liu, H.; Losovyj, Y.; Skrabalak, S. E.* "Shaping the Syntheis and Assembly of Symmetrically Stellated Au/Pd Nanocrystals with Aromatic Additives" Nano Letters, 2014, 4145-4150.

Prospective Graduate Students

We seek 1-3 graduate students per year. All prospective students must apply directly to the program (link). Upon arrival at IU, students rotate in research groups and advisors are finalized then. Given the number of emails received, individual inquiries will likely go unanswered but you are encouraged to learn more through our website.

Undergraduate Research

Research opportunities available for undergraduates! Inquire via email. Include your resume, list of science courses completed, and gpa. Also, check out our Science Ambassadors' Program.

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