Students win 2023 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Students win 2023 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

2023 NSF GRF Recipients (from top left clockwise: Sadie Brasel, Eric Gomez, Autumn Bruncz, Zac Faitz)Students Zac Faitz (Zanni Group, University of Wisconsin-Madison), Autumn Bruncz, Sadie Brasel, and Eric Gomez (Link Group, Rice) have been awarded 2023 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships!

Each of them are valuable members of our Center, and they come from distinct backgrounds that shaped them into the scientists they are today. Read more here!

Landes student wins 2023 RURS Shapiro Showcase

Landes student wins 2023 RURS Shapiro Showcase

Annette Jones with her Shapiro Showcase AwardUndergrad student Annette Jones (Landes Group, Rice University) won the Shapiro Showcase at the 2023 Rice Undergraduate Research Symposium!

We wish her the best of luck as she heads to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in fall 2023 to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemistry.

Nanoparticles make it easier to turn light into solvated electrons

Nanoparticles make it easier to turn light into solvated electrons

There are many ways to initiate chemical reactions in liquids, but placing free electrons directly into water, ammonia and other liquid solutions is especially attractive for green chemistry because solvated electrons are inherently clean, leaving behind no side products after they react.

In a published study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the Center for Adapting Flaws into Features (CAFF) uncovered the long-sought mechanism of a well-known but poorly understood process that produces solvated electrons via interactions between light and metal.

Graduate Student Alexander Al-Zubeidi Defends Thesis

Graduate student Alexander Al-Zubeidi defends thesis

Al-Zubeidi, Alexander_Rice

Congratulations to Dr. Alexander Al-Zubeidi for successfully defending his Ph.D. thesis entitled, “Plasmonic Hot Carrier-Driven Electrochemistry” on August 19, 2022!

The need for renewable energy has sparked widespread interest in photocatalysts, including systems based on plasmonic metal nanoparticles. To take advantage of these materials, a fundamental understanding of how plasmon-induced hot-carriers drive chemical reactions is needed. This work examines how different hot carrier distributions affect electrochemical reactions of plasmonic nanoparticles, and how applied electrochemical potentials can be used to modify the reactivity of hot carriers.

Dr. Al-Zubeidi accepted a postdoctoral research associate position with the Link Lab at Rice University.

Graduate Student Behnaz Ostovar Defends Thesis

Graduate student Behnaz Ostovar defends thesis

Behnaz Ostovar

Link Group, Rice University

Congratulations to Dr. Behnaz Ostovar for successfully defending her Ph.D. thesis entitled, “Plasmon-Mediated Carrier Dynamics in Metal Nanoparticles and Hybrid Nanostructures” in Spring 2022!

In this thesis, I studied the optical properties and ultrafast dynamics of novel nanomaterials, including emerging aluminum nanostructures, gold nanorods, and novel gold nanorod-semiconductor core-shell heterostructures. I utilized single-particle microscopy and transient ultrafast spectroscopy techniques that allow for detailed investigation of transient dynamics and optical properties of individual nanoobjects.

Dr. Ostovar is currently an Optical Waveguide Grating Engineer and a Waferfab Manufacturing Process Development Engineer at Lumentum.