The Advanced Photon Source
a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science User Facility

NST Colloquium - How Light Moves Metals: Massively enhanced optical forces from atomic-scale light confinement at molecular-metal surfaces

Type Of Event
Hybrid: 440/A105-A106 and Virtual
Building Number
Room Number
Jeremy J. Baumberg, University of Cambridge
Dafei Jin
Start Date
Start Time
11:00 a.m.

Abstract:  Our ability to trap light into extreme nanoscale gaps between coinage metals using plasmonics has enabled routine vibrational measurements of molecular monolayers, even within active molecular electronics devices. I show how plasmonically-enhanced light-induced van-der-Waals forces pulls single adatoms from metal facets, to create ‘picocavities’ which confine light to volumes smaller than a single atom. The thousand-fold stronger optical forces depend on both nearby molecules and local optical field. Coordination bonds with individual molecules can be tracked in real time or their fluctuating redox state observed. Such spectroscopy reveals a wealth of information, from how voltages twist conducting molecules, to how catalysis operates at individual adatoms. 

BioProf. Jeremy J. Baumberg FRS, is the Harald Aspden Professor of Fundamental Physics at the University of Cambridge, directing a key UK NanoPhotonics Centre. He develops optical materials structured on the nanoscale, with strong experience at Hitachi, IBM, and his spin-offs combining academic insight with innovation. With over 43000 citations (h-104), he is a leading innovator in Nano, leading to many awards including the IoP Faraday gold Medal (2017) and Royal Society Rumford Medal (2014). He is a strategic advisor on nanotechnology to the UK. His recent popular science book “The Secret Life of Science: How Science Really Works and Why it Matters” was recently (2018) []. 

Location: Hybrid

In-Person Location:  Bldg. 440, A105/A106

Virtual Link:


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