Colloquium: “Light-Driven Self-Organization of Nanoparticles into Artificial Materials” Wednesday, February 6, 2019 at 4:00 PM

Zijie Yan, PhD,
Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Clarkson University
George P. Williams, Jr. Lecture Hall, (Olin 101)
Wednesday, February 6, 2019, at 4:00 PM

There will be a reception with refreshments at 3:30 PM in the lounge. All interested persons are cordially invited to attend.


The ability to reconfigure nanoscale building blocks into different architectures, as if they were Lego pieces, has enormous potential for nanoscience. The development of colloidal synthesis has largely increased the availability of nanocrystals with well-controlled sizes and shapes. Bottom-up assembly of these nanoscale building blocks opens the prospect of creating novel artificial materials and systems with unusual properties and functionalities. However, it is still a great challenge to achieve precise, controlled, and reconfigurable assembly of nanomaterials. This seminar will introduce an optical approach to address this fundamental challenge in nanoscience. My research group exploits light-driven self-organization to create artificial nanomaterials. Shaped optical fields are created by modulating the intensity, phase, and polarization of laser beams in space and time. Self-organization arises from electrodynamic interactions among strongly scattering plasmonic nanoparticles, leading to a new type of material: reconfigurable optical matter with nanoparticle superlattices. New science has emerged in these artificial materials, for example, negative optical torque in optical matter arrays, and the developed optical methods will lead to more research opportunities and applications in microfluidics, microrheology, optical physics, and cell biology.

Printable Version