Plasmonics is interested in ways to localize light on the nanometer scale and utilize the resulting intense electromagnetic fields. An application of recent interest is plasmon mediated catalysis, using intense electric fields or ejection of energetic electrons to catalyze reactions on the surface of a plasmonic nanoparticle. Another option is combining plasmonic metals with catalytic metals to achieve better catalytic enhancement. My recent work focuses on measuring energy transfer between gold and aluminum nanoprisms and platinum decorations deposited on their faces. Through molecular-orbital-like theory and full-wave numerical simulations I have determined that aluminum makes a better antenna for platinum. What still remains to be answered is the impact of geometry on energy transfer mechanisms and how energy transfer impacts catalysis. I aim to answer these questions as part of my dissertation and eventually contribute to the design of solar-to-chemical energy conversion technology, advancing clean energy and environmental defense initiatives.
Advisor David Masiello -Chemistry, Applied Mathematics