We focus on investigating and controlling light-matter interactions at the nanoscale, and using light to probe local environments. We are particularly interested in understanding the nano- and meso-scale interactions between localized states in materials, and relating these properties with material and device functionality. We do this by correlating spatially-dependent physical properties (e.g. electronic structure) with biological and chemical information (e.g. molecular composition, reaction rates and dynamics) and morphological structure.


Our work is enabled by new multimodal and multidimensional spectroscopic methods that we are continuously developing, which provide unique access to physiochemical behavior at relevant length scales in real environments encountered in energy applications. These efforts are typically grounded in (nano)optical and scan-probe techniques, exploiting the chemical information and high spatial, spectral and temporal resolution afforded by them.

Group News ______________________________________________

News Archive

December 2012 – Our group's work on next-generation nano-optical "Campanile" probes and hyperspectral nano-imaging was published in Science! Congratulations to Wei Bao and Mauro Melli, the co-first authors on this groundbreaking report. A press release describing the paper can be found here:

November 2012 – Jim gave an invited talk at the University of Colorado, Boulder in the Physics Department's Optics, electronics, and Quantum Systems Seminar.

October 2012 – Jim delivered an invited talk at the University of California, Irvine in their Center for Chemistry at the Space-Time Limit (CaSTL) Seminar.

September 2012 – Our paper on probing nanoplasmonic hotspots with apertureless NSOM, done in collaboration with Prof. Yohannes Abate's group at CSULB, was just published in Applied Physics Letters.  Congratulations to Stefan and Sarah from CSULB on their great work!

September 2012 – Jim gave the invited dinner presentation, titled "Pushing the Frontiers of Nano-Characterization," at DOE's Electron and Scan-Probe Microscopy PI meeting.

June 2012 – Collaborative work with the groups of Delia Milliron and Bruce Cohen at the Molecular Foundry resulted in a research paper on the combinatorial discovery of UCNPs with spectrally-pure emission was published in Nano Letters.  Congrats again to Emory Chan.

June 2012 – Jim was invited to chair a session and speak at this year's Gordon Research Seminar on Noble Metal Nanoparticles.

May 2012 – Work done with Jeff Neaton's group at the Molecular Foundry resulted in a paper demonstrating how chemical Raman enhancement can be harnessed for understanding organic adsorbate binding on metal surfaces.  Congratulations to 1st author Alexey Zayak on this excellent article.

May 2012 – Check out the video animation, made by our brilliant high school summer intern Andrew Mueller, showing how  Upconverting Nanoparticles (UCNPs) work  and what they consist of.

May 2012 – In a collaboration with Delia Milliron's group at the Molecular Foundry, a research article was published in J. Phys. Chem. B on understanding and recycling energy transfer between lanthanide dopants in upconverting nanocrystals.  Congrats to first author Emory Chan.

April 2012 – Jim gave an invited talk at 3rd International Conference on Metamaterials, Photonic Crystals, and Plasmonics (META 2012) in Paris, France, titled "Next-Generation NanoScale Imaging Spectroscopy".

April 2012 – Jim was invited to speak at the 2nd International Conference on Frontiers of Plasmonics (FOP2). His talk was titled "Putting Near-Field Probes in Perspective: The Case for the Campanile Geometry".

April 2012 – In a collaboration with Deirdre Olynick in the Nanofabrication Facility, a research paper about using laser ablation for dry development of sub-20nm features has been published in Nanotechnology.  Congratulations to first author Dimas Garcia de Oteyza!

March 2012 – Collaborative work with Howard Padmore's group at LBNL's Advanced Light Source has resulted in a research paper on the collective behavior of impedance matched plasmonic nanocavities, which was published in Optics Express, and chosen for inclusion in the Virtual Journal of Biomedical Optics.  Congrats to first author Alex Polyakov!