Prashant Nagpal
Assistant Professor
Chemical and Biological Engineering


MSE Areas: Photovoltaic materials, plasmonics and metamaterials, nanophotonics, optical physics, semiconductor nanocrystals, infrared photonics, thermal plasmonics, biological sensing, optical sensors

Controlling the structure of matter at the nanoscale opens exciting opportunities for manipulating the properties of materials with great flexibility and precision. While nanoscale structures made from semiconductors show unique and potentially useful size- and shape-dependent properties due to quantum confinement, metal nanostructures can efficiently confine light into nanoscale volumes due to generation of surface plasmon polaritons. Combining the useful properties of these materials can have important implications for absorption and emission of electromagnetic radiation for solar cells, artificial light sources, and other applications. Moreover, careful understanding of electronic structure in these hybrid nanoscale systems can also enable new physical processes for photosensitized catalytic or photovoltaic charge extraction.

My research focuses on development of novel material systems and processes for development of functional nanomaterials. Our studies are focused on advancement of fundamental knowledge of electronic structures, carrier dynamics, and interactions between incident electromagnetic radiation and these nanoscale materials. Based on our understanding, we design and fabricate these nanostructured materials using a variety of top-down and bottom-up scalable nanofabrication techniques. We also employ a variety of spectroscopic methods including optical, electronic, ultrafast and other optoelectronic and surface sensitive spectroscopy techniques to study fundamental interaction between light, charge carriers and phonons in individual nanoparticles and mesoscale nanoparticle assemblies. This leads us to design principles for development of useful devices based on desired engineered nanoparticle properties and cooperative phenomenon in nanostructured assemblies.