Crano Awards Lecture 4/5/2022

Published 3/3/2022

Teri W. Odom | Professor of Chemistry | Northwestern University

Teri W. Odom is Joan Husting Madden and William H. Madden, Jr. Professor of Chemistry and Chair of the Chemistry Department at Northwestern University. She is an expert in designing structured nanoscale materials that exhibit extraordinary size and shape-dependent optical and physical properties. Odom has pioneered a suite of multi-scale nanofabrication tools that have resulted in plasmon-based nanoscale lasers that exhibit tunable color, flat optics that can manipulate light at the nanoscale, and hierarchical substrates that show controlled wetting and super-hydrophobicity. She has also invented a class of biological nanoconstructs that are facilitating unique insight into nanoparticle-cell interactions and that show superior imaging and therapeutic properties because of their gold nanostar shape.

Outstanding Junior Chemistry Award Winners will be acknowledged prior to Professor Odom’s lecture.

The afternoon and evening lectures are free and open to the public.

Cost of dinner is $10 for students, $25 for professionals. RSVP by visiting the events page.

Afternoon Talk 3 PM, The University of Akron-Mary Gladwin Hall Room 111

Tunable Colors from Nanoscale Lasers

The discovery of the first laser is just over sixty-years old. This “solution-looking-for-a-problem” has become ubiquitous in optical communication, modern manufacturing, grocery checkout counters, and ultra-fast spectroscopy. Nanoscale laser designs were proposed nearly twenty-years ago, with the first demonstrations following about ten years later. Over the last decade, nanoscale lasers have seen major advances, with breakthroughs in cavity architectures and gain materials. Plasmonic lasers based on nanoparticle lattices are of special interest because the cavity structure can be tuned at the unit-cell level, which then affects the type of near-field optical feedback contributing to lasing action. Moreover, depending on whether the gain materials are molecular or nanoparticulate in nature, new optical modes can contribute to the amplification process. This talk will describe plasmonic nanoparticle lasers that can produce reversible and switchable lasing emission. We will focus on both static and dynamic approaches to achieve tunable color and polarization at multiple, different wavelengths. Finally, we will discuss prospects for white-light lasing.

Evening Program 7 PM, Malone University, Brehme Centennial Center

Nanotechnology in the Time of COVID-19

Nanotechnology is an interdisciplinary, integrated field that achieved significant translational outcomes over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. This talk will describe advances in nanoscience at the global and local levels during the pandemic era. First, the design of high-performance masks worn by many and mRNA vaccines against the SARS-CoV-2 virus will be discussed. Second, how nanoparticles with shapes similar to that of coronaviruses can function as optical probes to interrogate how activated nanoconstructs interact with cell membranes will be described. A 3D anisotropic nanoparticle shape is advantageous for retaining the activity of the surface ligands, which has implications for cell membrane receptor binding and downstream cell signaling in both delivery and infection outcomes.