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Nanoscale Temperature Manipulation via Plasmonic Fano Interferences

Thermal energy, or heat, flows naturally from hot to cold, making it difficult to create localized thermal “hot spots” even when heat is applied to a single spot. Touching a hot pan’s lid provides a simple and all too familiar example of such thermal conduction. As a material’s size is reduced to 10-100s of nanometers, or about 1,000 times smaller than a human hair, depositing and maintaining thermal energy within a small region of space becomes even more challenging. Yet the ability to control heat flow and thus temperature at nanoscopic dimensions has important implications for applications ranging from data storage and local chemical reaction control to photothermal therapies for disease treatment and pain management through ion channel stimulation.

With support from the Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) Program in the Division of Chemistry (CHE) and the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET), Professor David J. Masiello from the University of Washington, Professor Katherine A. Willets from Temple University, and Professor Stephan Link from Rice University are developing methods to theoretically design and experimentally realize a new class of materials capable of controllably directing temperature increases to nanoscale regions of space. Beyond impacting a wide variety of applications, the project is also facilitating the interdisciplinary training of students and postdoctoral researchers through student exchange between the three research groups.

News

phys.org highlight: "Scientists can now control thermal profiles at the nanoscale"

At human scale, controlling temperature is a straightforward concept. Turtles sun themselves to keep warm. To cool a pie fresh from the oven, place it on a room-temperature countertop. At the nanoscale—at distances less than 1/100th the width of the thinnest human hair—controlling temperature is much more difficult.

Rice University News feature: "One linked particle’s hot, the other keeps its cool"

Here’s a challenge: Put two linked sausages in a skillet and turn on the stove, but get only one of them to cook. It seems impossible, but that is effectively what Rice University chemists have done with an electromagnetically linked pair of nanoparticles.

University of Washington News feature: "Scientists can now control thermal profiles at the nanoscale"

At human scale, controlling temperature is a straightforward concept. Turtles sun themselves to keep warm. To cool a pie fresh from the oven, place it on a room-temperature countertop. At the nanoscale — at distances less than 1/100th the width of the thinnest human hair — controlling temperature is much more difficult.

Meet the Team

Principal Investigators

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Stephan Link

Rice University

Professor of Chemistry
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

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David J. Masiello

University of Washington

Professor of Chemistry

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Kallie Willets

Temple University

Professor of Chemistry

Post-Doctoral Fellows

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Stephen Lee

Rice University

Graduate Students

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Harrison Goldwyn

University of Washington

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Phil Reinhardt

Temple University

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Claire West

University of Washington

Related Publications

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Far-field midinfrared superresolution imaging and spectroscopy of single high aspect ratio gold nanowires

Active Far-Field Control of the Thermal Near-Field via Plasmon Hybridization

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Rotation of Single-Molecule Emission Polarization by Plasmonic Nanorods

Mislocalization in Plasmon-Enhanced Single-Molecule Fluorescence Microscopy as a Dynamical Young's Interferometer