Adi Salomon

Krill Prize Laureate 2018

Adi Salomon

Bar-Ilan University

 

light matter interaction at the nanoscale

 

Energy transfer processes between light and molecules and among molecules themselves play important roles in nature, with photosynthesis probably being the
best-known example. In my laboratory at the Bar-Ilan Nanocenter, we study such light-matter interactions at the nanoscale, focusing on organic molecules. To do so,
we use metallic nanostructures to concentrate the light energy. Surface-plasmons, light-driven, collective oscillations of the metal’s free electrons, allow tuning,
enhancing and confining the electromagnetic field to a tiny, sub-wavelength volume. In this context, the overall goal of my wosrk is to modify molecules using plasmonic
modes as a photonic environment, or even as a ‘photonic catalyst’. Having this goal in mind, we have developed during the last four years metallic systems with unique properties. These systems are composed either of well-defined metallic nanostructures, or, more recently, of a large-scale nanoporous metallic network. Both of these systems are different from conventional plasmonic devices, and they are complementary to each other in many aspects. The nanofabricated surfaces we produce are like an artificial
leaf, on which the light energy can be funneled to a desired ‘reaction center’. We use this confined light as a ‘photonic reagent’, which opens new photochemical reaction
channels, or which modifies the potential energy barrier along a given reaction coordinate and thus enhances or inhibits a specific reaction channel. The idea here is to open new routes for photochemical reactions on surfaces
by controlling the electromagnetic-field properties at the metal surface.

The Krill Prize Winners

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