Plasmonics for Chemistry: Sensing and controlling chemical reactions using plasmons
Abstract: Metal nanoparticles can sustain localized surface plasmon resonances, which are light-driven resonant oscillations of their free electrons. Thanks to their strong spectral dependence on the nanoparticle size, shape, composition, and dielectric environment these resonances can be used as nanoscale probes for a large range of chemical and physical processes. Furthermore, their non-radiative decay into "hot" charge carriers and heat can be exploited to accelerate and modify chemical reactions at the metal nanoparticle surface. Here, I will show how we can use plasmon resonances in an environmental transmission electron microscope to study hydrogen absorption in individual metal nanocrystals. Such single-particle approach offers unprecedented insight into the phase transition of nanomaterials used for energy storage. Additionally, I will show how we use localized surface plasmon resonances to probe charge transfer reactions in metal@semiconductor core@shell nanoparticles and to control the synthesis of hierarchical nanostructures in solution.
More about the Speaker: Andrea Baldi received his Master in Chemistry from the University of Rome "La Sapienza" and his PhD in Condensed Matter Physics from the VU University Amsterdam. During his PhD he studied the properties of metal hydride thin films for hydrogen storage and smart windows applications. In 2011 he won the Young Energy Scientist Fellowship from the Dutch physics institute (FOM), which funded his tenure as a visiting researcher in the group of prof. Jennifer Dionne at Stanford University. At Stanford he developed imaging and spectroscopic techniques in an environmental TEM to study phase transitions in nanomaterials for energy storage. Since 2015 he has returned to the Netherlands as a tenure-track senior scientist at the newly founded Dutch Institute For Fundamental Energy Research (DIFFER) in Eindhoven, where he leads his research group on Nanomaterials for Energy Applications.