Project Info

Optically driven nanostructuring of alloyed metal plasmonic nanocrystals for next-generation computing

Matthew Crane

Project Goals and Description:

Metallic nanoparticles have incredible properties, including enhanced optical absorption under certain wavelengths of light, a property that stems from a localized surface plasmon resonance or LSPR. These LSPRs depend on the nanoparticle’s composition, size, and geometry to enhance light absorption. Thus, metallic nanoparticle optical properties can be engineered by adjusting these properties. LSPRs of nanoparticles also create unique near field profiles that concentrate light around the nanoparticle in hot spots, which can be used to drive chemistry, sense particles, scatter light, and more. In addition, the LSPR enhanced optical response of scattering and absorption is polarization dependent, creating unique interactions with different polarizations of light, including, for properly designed nanostructures, changing the polarization of scattered light. By tuning the nanoscale features of these particles, especially their near-field responses to light, we can control macroscopic phenomena, like how data is transmitted and stored for next-generation computing applications. Creating these computing devices with tailored optical responses thus requires new methods to tune their structures with nanometer-scale precision. In this project, silver/gold alloy nanoparticles will be synthesized, and the composition will be controlled and patterned by manipulating the near fields of existing nanoparticles.

More Information:

Grand Challenge: Not applicable.

Primary Contacts:

Matthew Crane, <a href=""></a> | Brandon Reynolds,  

Student Preparation


No specific qualifications are necessary. Students will be required to take the Laboratory Safety and Hazardous Waste Generation courses from ESH.




Synthesis skills, including operating a Schlenk Line Materials characterization Optics setup and optical characterization techniques How to maintain a Lab Notebook Scientific writing and communication skills How to read journal articles Data analysis


The student will conduct research under the guidance of the graduate students and should expect to interact and learn from them every time they are in the lab. The student will meet with Dr. Crane once a week to set goals, discuss progress, and present findings. The student will be expected to attend weekly group meetings.


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