News Archive



12.21.16 Andrew has been awarded the Springborn Postdoctoral Fellowship from the Department of Chemistry in recognition of his stellar PhD accomplishments and future research promise. This prestigious fellowship is generously supported by the Springborn family. Congratulations to Andrew for receiving this honor!

12.09.16 Prashant was designated the 2016-17 I. C. Gunsalus Scholar by the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Thank you to LAS and Professor Emeritus I. C. Gunsalus's generous endowment!

12.04.16 At our annual holiday dinner pic, the group welcomed new group members and celebrated many milestones this year. We also bid farewell to our lovely undergraduate researchers, Ria and Tobias. Tobias is headed back to Germany to continue his undergraduate studies and Ria will be studying abroad in Hong Kong during the Spring semester.

11.29.16 The Jain lab co-hosted the NSF-funded "Light/Matter Interactions at the nanoBIO interface" workshop to at UIUC (Nov 28-29). link We thank all the participants and speakers for an engaging program.

11.11.16 Congratulations to Daniel, who passed his prelim examinations!

10.25.16 Magic-size clusters of CdSe can be ion exchanged to make novel semiconductor clusters. These findings by Sarah and Progna will appear in Chemistry of Materials! link

10.24.16 Dinumol Devasia joins us as a new Materials Chemistry graduate student. Dinumol spent Summer 2014 in our group as a Bose undergraduate research scholar. It is great to welcome you back, Dinumol!

10.10.16 In collaboration with the Sardar group at IUPUI, we found that surface-enhanced Raman scattering at hot spots decays over molecular length scales. A paper reporting this finding appeared in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. link

10.03.16 We are excited to be joined by postdoctoral scholar, Dr. Andrew Wilson. Andrew received his PhD in Chemistry at UT Austin working with Kallie Willets. Welcome Andrew!

09.21.16 We are hosting the "Light/Matter Interactions at the nanoBIO interface" workshop on Nov 28-29 at UIUC. link Modeling and simulation-based design have become an integral part of the field of plasmonics and its applications to nanoBIO systems. The workshop is being conducted for offering training to practitioners in the field. We welcome you to participate. Registration is now open at link

08.05.16 Prashant listed among the most cited chemists and chemical engineers in the world as per recently released rankings of the Academic Ranking of World Universities based on Elsevier Scopus data. link The full list of Most Cited Researchers can be found here: link

09.14.16 Congratulations to Daniel, who was awarded the Eastman Travel Award by the Department of Chemistry! He also received the Chinoree T. and Mrs. Kimiyo Enta Fellowship for 2016-17.

09.06.16 Congratulations to Progna, who has passed her preliminary examination!

09.03.16 Welcome to Chemistry senior, Ria Christie Christina and Physics exchange student from LMU Munich, Tobias Blickhan, who have joined us for research this Fall!

09.02.16 Congratulations to Progna, who has been accepted into the Academic Leadership for Women Engineers program and has received a travel award to participate in their 2016 conference.

08.22.16 Prashant gave an invited talk on probing carbon dioxide adsorption and reduction on individual catalyst nanoparticles at the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia.

07.29.16 Our paper on the kinetics of adsorption on individual silver nanoparticles will appear in the journal PCCP. link Congratulations to Jeremy!

07.07.16 Bara Saadah, a UIUC junior majoring in BME, joins us this summer to work on the merger of our optics tool nanoDDSCAT+ with VMD for the design of bionanostructures. Welcome, Bara!

07.06.16 Our work on SERS from internal hotspots in core/shell nanostructures in collaboration with the Soft Nanomaterials Laboratory link at WUSTL appears in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. link

07.01.16 Alex Zhang (PhD, Notre Dame U.) joins us as a postdoctoral scholar. Welcome to Illinois and the group, Alex!

06.25.16 Congratulations to Sarah (PhD, Spring 2016) has accepted a position as a project engineer at Applied Materials. Sarah will be missed in the group!

06.14.16 Our paper on the dynamics of how bimetallic nanostructures form will appear as a Communication in Angewandte Chemie. link Congratulations to co-first authors Jeremy Smith and Indranath Chakraborty!

06.08.16 Two new members join us this summer: Faraz Arastu, an incoming MatSE graduate student and postdoc Xueqiang (Alex) Zhang, who received his PhD in chemistry from Notre Dame. Welcome Faraz and Alex!

06.03.16 Jeremy successfully defended his PhD dissertation. Congratulations to Dr. Smith, who will be starting as a process engineer at Lam Research Corporation located in the Bay area!

06.01.16 Prashant gave a seminar in the Catalysis Chapter at 3M on the nature of nanocrystalline transformations. Our nontenured faculty award from 3M was renewed for a second year.

05.24.16 To celebrate our recent PhD graduations and welcome our newer members, the Jain lab went out for a fun evening of bowling. pic

05.17.16 Prashant gave the Physical Chemistry seminar at MIT.

05.10.16 We received an exploratory grant from Blue Waters link to investigate, using electronic structure calculations, the atomistic mechanism of transformations of ionic semiconductor nanocrystals.

05.09.16 Prashant gave the Physical Chemistry seminar at Stanford University.

05.06.16 How do ligands alter the kinetics of surface chemical reactions on metal nanoparticles? We address this question in a recently published JACS article. link Congratulations to Jeremy on the publication of this detailed investigation! The paper is available as an ACS Author Choice Open Access article.

05.03.16 Aaron has successfully defended his PhD dissertation. Congratulations, Dr. Routzahn!

04.26.16 Congratulations to Daniel has been selected as an XSEDE scholar, which will support his education and research on the computational description of ion transport in solids.

04.17.16 Our paper on Activation energies of plasmonic catalysts appeared in Nano Letters. link Congratulations to Youngsoo and Daniel for getting this nice work published! The paper is available as an ACS Author Choice Open Access article.

04.16.16 Our review article on plasmonic photocatalysis published in Nano Today in 2015 was selected as one of five Editor Choice articles and among Editor's Highlights for 2016.

04.14.16 Prashant gave the Physical Chemistry seminars at Rice University and Iowa State University

03.28.16 Congratulations to Sarah, soon to be officially Dr. White, who successfully defended her PhD dissertation today with flying colors!

03.19.16 The Jain lab is co-organizing the nanoBIO node Plasmonics and Its Applications workshop in RASEI, University of Colorado Boulder from Mar 21-22. link Jeremy Smith will be presenting the nanoDDSCAT+ tool at this workshop.

02.18.16 Prashant is organizing the Physical Principles in Nanoscience symposium at the Spring ACS National meeting in San Diego, CA. Thanks to co-organizers Christy Landes and Stephan Link and the ACS PHYS division, we have a remarkable list of speakers coming together to discuss the most cutting-edge work in nanoscience and celebrate the important contributions of M. A. El-Sayed, this years Priestley medalist, to nanoscience and physical chemistry. If you will be in San Diego, please join us!

02.16.16 Prashant gave the Chemical Physics seminar at Caltech.

02.15.16 Gayatri Kumari joins our group as a postdoctoral fellow. Gayatri received her PhD from JNCASR in Bangalore, studying adsorption in porous solids using SERS spectroscopy. Welcome, Gayatri!

02.02.16 Jain lab awarded US patent #9,248,428 on regenerable nanostructured sulfur sorbents.

02.1.16 Chemistry senior Johan Yapo joins the lab. Welcome, Johan!

01.31.16 Cody Tripp completed his M.S. in Chemistry and has moved from our lab to a position at a California technology startup company, iSense LLC. Congratulations and best wishes, Cody!

01.29.16 The group gave Indranath a fond farewell. pic Congratulations, Indra, on a job well done! It was great to have you in the group! Wish you our best with your work and stay as a Humboldt Fellow in Germany!

01.20.16 Our group welcomes two new members, postdoc Sungju Yu (PhD, Seoul National U.) and MatSE graduate student, Jaeyoung Heo. Welcome, Sungju and Jaeyoung!

01.04.16 Prashant listed among "Teachers Ranked As Excellent by their Students" for his teaching of Physical Chemistry II lab, Chem 447 during Fall 2015.


12/24/15 Happy Holidays! In the new year, our group will welcome three new members, postdocs Gayatri Kumari (PhD, JNCASR) and Sungju Yu (PhD, Seoul National U.) and MatSE graduate student, Jaeyoung Heo.

11/12/15 Prashant gave Pchem seminars at UC Berkeley, UC Boulder, and U. Wisconsin-Madison on “some hidden facts of chemistry in the solid-state”

10/02/15 Our group was recognized by three awards! Jeremy received the Geerdes Award from the Chemistry department. Cody received the School of Chemistry Sciences Graduate Teaching Award. Prashant is the recipient of the 2014-15 School of Chemical Sciences Faculty Teaching Award.

09/29/15 Prashant gave the James Frank Institute Colloquium at the University of Chicago.

09/28/15 Using single-particle spectroscopy, electron microscopy, and theory, we determined how structure correlates with the nature of plasmonic excitations in complex constructs of metal nanoparticles. This work, performed in collaboration with the Zamborini group at U. Louisville, will appear in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. link

09/21/15 Varun Mohan, a first-year MatSE PhD student, joins us. Welcome, Varun!

09/21/15 Congratulations to Aaron, who received the Eastman Award from the Department of Chemistry! This award will support Aaron’s travel to the Spring 2016 ACS National Meeting, where Aaron will present his thesis work.

08/18/15 Prashant gave the JPC C Award Lecture at the ACS National Meeting in Boston.

08/07/15 Our nanostructured sulfur sorption technology shortlisted for the Oil and Gas Award 2015 by IChemE.

08/06/15 Naveed and Priya presented posters at the Chemistry undergraduate/REU poster symposium.

07/05/15 Group had some fun times at our Crystal Lake park picnic! pics

07/02/15 Cecilia Gentle, from the incoming Materials Chemistry graduate class, has joined us for the summer. Welcome to Illinois and to the group, Cecilia!

06/15/15 We were awarded a five-year CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation for our work on noble metal nanoparticle photocatalysts and for the development of nanoDDSCAT, a research and educational tool. We thank NSF for this generous support!

06/02/15 Priya Patel, a Chemistry junior, joins us for the summer to work with Aaron on quantum dot chemical reactions. Welcome, Priya!

05/26/15 Prashant listed among UIUC’s Teachers Ranked as Excellent By Their Students for his undergraduate teaching of Physical Chemistry (Statistical Thermodynamics).

05/13/15 Prashant gave the MRSEC colloquium at Northwestern University.

05/05/15 Indranath Chakraborty (PhD, IIT Madras) link joins us as a postdoctoral fellow. Welcome, Indranath!

04/25/15 Congratulations to Naveed, who received the John E. Gieseking Scholarship from the Chemistry department for performing research during Summer 2015.

04/13/15 Sarah is a co-recipient of the 2015 Walter Klemperer/Materials Chemistry Best Dissertation Award. Congratulations to Sarah for the well-deserved recognition! She will present her award talk to the Chemistry department on May 21.

03/25/15 Prashant gave an invited talk on collective effects in the solid-state in the session on ‘Probing Nano-Plasmonic Phenomena at the Single Molecule, Single Electron, & Single Photon Level’ at the ACS National meeting held in Denver.

03/19/15 Prashant gave the Physical Chemistry seminars at UCLA. link and Cornell University

03/01/15 Our work on blinking of a reacting quantum dot now published in Nano Letters. Congratulations to Aaron!

02/25/15 Prashant received the 2015 Journal of Physical Chemistry C Lectureship Award.

02/20/15 Congratulations to Jeremy who received the Eastman Travel Grant award from the Chemistry department.

02/18/15 Prashant received one of the 3M Nontenured Faculty Awards for 2015. Thank you to the 3M Corporation!

01/22/15 Thirteen of our papers designated by Thomson Reuters as “Highly Cited”, i.e., top 1% in their respective fields.

01/20/15 Prashant gave the opening MRSEC colloquium at Columbia University.

01/08/15 Prashant gave the CeNSE seminar at the Indian Institute of Science.



12/22/14 Our mechanistic review of “plasmonic” catalysis will be published in the journal Nano Today. The article discusses the physical origin, the promise, the pitfalls, and the challenges associated with the harvesting of plasmon resonances for the generation of fuels or electrical power. link

12/16/14 Benzene-like plasmonic metamolecules show interesting optical attributes that derive from their structures, including regioselectivity and co-operativity. Our work, in collaboration with Zamborini lab at U. Louisville is described in a recently published Nano Letters paper. link

12/10/14 Prashant gave the keynote address at Champaign Central High School's National Honor Society induction ceremony.

11/13/14 Prashant gave talks at Indiana University and UI Chicago.

10/31/14 Nanoscale gold is known to activate small organic molecules. We recently found that nanoscale gold can also activate inorganic solids and make them more reactive. The study will appear in Angewandte Chemie.

10/29/14 Two new graduate students joined us: Daniel Dummet from the Physical Chemistry program and Progna Banerjee from the Physics program. Welcome Daniel and Progna! We have a new group picture.

10/17/14We were the recipients of a Doctoral New Investigator Award from the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund. This award comes with funds of $110,000 for our work on electron microscopy-based mapping of reactions/photoreactions on metal/oxide surfaces.

10/15/14 The group welcomes new postdoc, Dr. Pooja Tyagi, who is set to join us shortly. Pooja is a laser spectroscopist, who obtained her PhD in physics from McGill University.

10/13/14 We are happy to have Ryan Sanders, a junior in Chemical Engineering, join us. Ryan will work on photoreactivity of metal/oxide interfaces with Cody.

09/30/14 Prashant selected as a finalist for the Kavli Foundation Emerging Leaders in Chemistry Lectureship.

09/23/14 Prashant gave the Physical Chemistry seminar at Georgia Tech.

08/22/14 Plasmon resonances can be induced in semiconductor nanocrystals by doping. As charge carriers are added one at a time to the nanocrystal, at what point does a collective resonance emerge? Are these collective resonances different in their nature from the plasmon resonances of electron-dense metals? Prashant's paper, which addresses these questions using a theoretical model of a plasmon confined to a box will appear in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters.

08/13/14 The group was happy to be visited by Prof. Renaud Bachelot, Head of the Laboratory of Nanotechnology and Instrumentation (LNIO) at the University of Troyes in France.

07/22/14 Dinumol completed a productive summer internship with us, working on carbon dioxide adsorption on single silver nanoparticles. We thank her for her contributions and wish her the best for the remainder of her M. Sc. studies at IISER.

07/09/14 Sarah, Jeremy, and Cody received departmental fellowships. Congratulations!

07/07/14 Prashant received the 2014 Beckman Young Investigator award given by the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation to "the most promising young faculty members in the early stages of academic careers in the chemical and life sciences, particularly to foster the invention of methods, instruments and materials that will open up new avenues of research in science."

06/20/14 Cody was a recipient of one of the first Teaching Excellence Fellowships. Congratulations to Cody on his work as a TA in the Physical Principles Lab!

06/19/14 Prashant gave a talk on 'single-nanocrystal look at solid-state and catalytic reactions' at the 2014 Noble Metal Nanoparticles GRC.

06/03/14 Prashant gave talks at the Institut des NanoSciences de Paris and the Universite de Technologie de Troyes in France.

05/24/14 Prashant among 'Teachers Ranked as Excellent By Their Students' for the Spring 2014 semester.

05/19/14 Dinumol Devasia from IISER Thiruvananthapuram joins us for the summer as a 2014 SN Bose Scholar. Welcome, Dinumol!

05/08/14 Prashant gave the Physical/Analytical seminar at the University of Notre Dame.

04/14/14 See us describe our work on the ubiquity of plasmon resonances in a YouTube video link featured by the American Chemical Society and JPC Letters. An editorial link by JPC Senior Editor Gregory Hartland also features this work.

04/07/14 Prashant gave the MSE colloquium at Stanford, the Modern Optics seminar at MIT, and the INDI seminar at IUPUI in the last two weeks. He discussed the use of single-nanocrystal spectroscopy for discovery of hidden dynamics of transitions in solid-state catalysts and sorbents.

04/06/14 Our perspective article in JPC Letters one of the top 5 most read articles in the journal.

03/24/14 Alex Stanton contributes to the Choctaw Nation blog meant to encourage and prepare students for higher education and careers in STEM.

03/03.14 Our perspective article link on plasmon resonances of a discrete number of carriers will be highlighted on the cover of the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. The perspective was also chosen as an ACS Editor's Choice Article.

02/18/14 Prashant is a recipient of the 2014 Sloan Research Fellowship link, awarded by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to rising early-career scientists and scholars in eight fields of study. UIUC News Bureau

02/13/14 Clotilde Lethiec from the Institut des NanoSciences de Paris (Agnès Maitre group) visited us to share her work on optical imaging of single emitters.

02/01/14 Plasmon resonances supported by a handful of carriers are unique from those of metal nanoparticles in terms of the fundamental questions they raise (e.g., quantum effects) and the technological opportunities they open up (e.g., single-electron transistors). We provide our perspective of this new field in an article to appear in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. link

01/17/14 By probing galvanic corrosion reactions in individual silver nanoparticles, we uncovered the formation of a few-defect void to be a critical precursor in these reactions. This study will appear in the journal Angewandte Chemie. Congratulations to Jeremy for the carefully executed study that uses both optical and electron microscopy, and also to Qing, our former undergraduate researcher.

01/09/14 Plasmons can couple strongly with excitations in nearby molecules and quantum dots. We developed a generalized theory for such strong coupling, which predicts a diverse range of phenomena seen in atom optics, including Rabi splitting, Fano interference, and optical transparency. This work was published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. Congratulations to Jacob and Jiayi Fu, our REU visitor from summer 2013!

01/08/14 Watching reactive transitions on the level of individual nanocrystals reveals hidden solid-state dynamics. Our paper describing such a single-nanocrystal resolved study of ion exchange will appear in Nano Letters. Congratulations to Aaron!

01/08/14 Prashant reviewed a newly published book "Gold Nanoparticles for Physics, Chemistry, and Biology". The review was published in the journal Angewandte Chemie and can be found here for prospective readers of the book.

01/06/14 Prashant gave a talk on "elucidating chemistry on the nanoscale" at his alma mater the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai. The talk was highlighted in a blog-post "chemistry with glasses on" by green chemistry blogger Anuja Sawant.



12/22/13 A story on our finding of atomic level co-operativity in nanocrystalline transitions appeared in the UIUC News Bureau, Inside Illinois newspaper, and several other science media outlets including PhysOrg, NanoWerk, and Laser Focus World.

12/20/13 We received the Top Cited Paper Award from Elsevier for "Plasmonic coupling in noble metal nanostructures", which is among the top five most cited papers from 2009-2013 in Chemical Physics Letters.

12/12/13 Chemical reactions in nanocrystals exhibit co-operativity, akin to those seen in the biomacromolecular world (e.g., protein folding, oxygen binding to heomoglobin). This work appeared in Nature Communications. Congratulations to Sarah, Jeremy, and Mayank!

12/12/13 Jeremy passed his prelims. Congratulations to the new PhD candidate!

12/04/13 Prashant received 'The Golden Jubilee Visiting Fellowship' from the Institute of Chemical Technology (Mumbai), awarded by them each year to 4-8 distinguished persons in science and technology.

11/26/13 Prashant gave an IMSE seminar at Washington University in St. Louis on the topic of "Elucidating chemical reactions one nanocrystal at a time"

11/07/13 Our work on reactive cleanup of sulfur was deemed a highly commendable runner up for the global Energy Award by UK's Institute of Chemical Engineers.

10/28/13 Cody Tripp, a first year Pchem student and Roger Adams fellow joins the group! Welcome Cody!

10/19/13 Prashant to give invited talk at M. A. El-Sayed's 80th birthday symposium to be held at the ACS Southeastern regional meeting in Atlanta.

10/07/13 Sarah and Aaron passed their prelims. Congratulations to the new PhD candidates!

09/30/13 Quantum dot plasmons can be used to detect and probe redox events and ligand chemistry. Our paper demonstrating this will appear in Angewandte Chemie. Congratulations to Sarah and Jacob and thanks to our collaborators in the Alivisatos group.

09/23/13 Our work on nanomaterials for removal of detrimental sulfur shortlisted for the 2013 Energy award from UK's IChemE.

09/09/13 Prashant gave an invited talk on "Studying chemical transformations on the nanoscale" at the ACS national meeting in Indianapolis.

08/30/13 Jain group led Illinois Chemistry to be 1st place winner of the ACS Chemistry in Motion College and University Challenge. Sarah and Mayank will receive the award at the ACS Indianapolis meeting.

08/26/13 A plasmon mode can be sustained by as few as four electrons, much fewer than conventionally thought, as we report in a recent JPC Letter. Congratulations to Jacob on demonstrating this in photocharged zinc oxide nanocrystals! The paper also discusses few-electron plasmas, many-body excitons, and what it all means for the long-standing question of charge trapping dynamics in zinc oxide.

08/11/13 Prashant was among select innovators interviewed for National Academy of Engineering's Educate-to-innovate program. This contribution will become part of NAE workshop to be held in Oct 2013.

08/03/13 Jiayi presented his research on theory of plasmonic Rabi splitting at the REU poster session. Jiayi and Paul complete their summer research term with us. We are thankful for their contributions! Roarke Burnett, a chemistry senior joins us for the Fall semester.

07/31/13 Prashant invited to give Young Investigator talk at Gordon research conference on nanocrystals. Prashant will also give an invited talk at the Nanocrystals Analytical Chemistry symposium at the ACS National Meeting in Sep.

07/30/13 Prashant discussed "Nanoscience and solar energy in the classroom" with grade 6-12 teachers at the Beginning Teacher STEM conference

07/15/13 Congratulations to Sarah for receiving the University Fellowship and Jeremy for receiving the James R. Beck Fellowship!

06/27/13 Prashant invited to attend the National Academy of Engineering 2013 US Frontiers of Engineering symposium as part of a group of 81 outstanding engineers under the age of 45.

06/25/13 Prashant delivered plenary talk on "Chemistry on the Nanoscale" at the 87th ACS Colloids Symposium.

06/15/13 de Gruyter publisher's 'Nanospectroscopy' is a new annual interdisciplinary publication in nano-optics. Prashant serves on editorial board.

06/04/13 Congratulations to Mayank on passing his prelims.

06/03/13 We have three new lab members: NSF summer REU student Jiayi Fu, chemistry senior Paul Butkovich, & visiting scientist Dr. Wei Lin.

06/01/13 Nanocrystals of the phase-change material germanium telluride show plasmon resonances that are tunable by crystallinity. This work, in collaboration with Hebrew University and UC Berkeley groups, will appear in Physical Review Letters.

05/21/13 Prashant receives the 2013 Dupont Young Professor Award. He is one of 14 worldwide researchers this year to receive the honor.

05/13/13 Alex was highlighted in a video spotlight by the Chemistry department. Jacob and Jeremy also make guest appearances.

5/08/13 Qing and Melika graduate this week. We congratulate them on their future endeavours! Qing is headed to graduate school at UCLA Chemistry. Melika will begin Pharmacy school at UIC.

04/30/13 Our work on the size-dependence of the plasmonic field, in collaboration with the Bachelot group in France, published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

04/28/13 Prashant is the recipient of the 2013 Unilever Award link for Outstanding Young Investigator from the American Chemical Society Division of Colloid & Surface Chemistry. Prashant will also present a plenary award talk at the ACS Colloid and Surface Symposium this summer.

04/16/13 Aaron and Sarah's review article in special Nanosciene issue of Israel Journal of Chemistry the most accessed article of the journal (Feb 2013 list)

04/03/13 Aaron and Prashant team up with Uni High students to conduct hands on science activities at Urbana schools through the EnLiST program. Our focus is on Ecology and Environment.

03/29/13 Aaron and Jacob received NSF graduate fellowships this year. Congratulations to both on their achievements!

03/20/13 The Most Read Article in Journal of Physical Chemistry B last year was our paper on the 'Absorption and Scattering Properties of Gold Nanoparticles' list. This paper has 1000+ cites thus far.


12.20.18 We noticed an unusual lattice structure in some nanocrystals of copper selenide, a potential solid electrolyte: the copper ions arrange so that vacancy planes lie every 14 Angstroms. These findings are published in the journal Chemistry of Materials link and the new structure is available through the Cambridge Crystallographic Data Center. link Congratulations to Jaeyoung and Daniel for a successful collaboration between high-resolution electron microscopy and electronic structure simulations!


12.04.18  Congratulations to Dinumol Devasia on passing her PhD prelim examination, where she discussed single-nanoparticle-level probing of photocatalysis.

​11.27.18  Prashant listed among 2018 Highly Cited Researchers across all fields by Clarivate Analytics Web of Science. link UIUC News Bureau

10.29.18  Stanley Bram, first year materials chemistry graduate student and Roger Adams fellow joins our group to study artificial photosynthesis. Welcome Stanley!


10.29.18 We are part of a team led by Prof. Renske van der Veen to receive funding for major research instrumentation from NSF. link We are excited to begin in-situ time-resolved mapping of catalysts in action using the newly equipped dynamic TEM at the Materials Research Lab. Francis Alcorn, first year materials chemistry graduate student and Springborn fellow joins our collaborative effort with the van der Veen Lab. Welcome Frank!


10.23.18 Prashant visited the Chemistry department at Texas A&M University where he discussed the lab’s recent work on fixing carbon using plasmonic catalysts.


10.05.18 Congratulations to Dr. Progna Banerjee (PhD in Physics, 2018) who will soon start in a new position as a postdoctoral scholar at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. We are thankful for her contributions, the latest of which, on the sulfidation of small ZnO nanoparticles, will be published in RSC Advances. link


08.11.08 Graduate student Alex Kurzhals was interviewed by C&EN for the story on “How I made my grad school choices”. link


08.17.08 Our lab is one of three to receive the first Chemistry Discovery Fund award. link Thank you to Drs. Ving and May Lee for their support and generosity. This award will help us explore light-driven nitrogen fixation.

08.08.18 Using surface enhanced Raman scattering, we watched the process of CO2 reduction on single nanoparticles of a silver photocatalyst. We managed to capture the critical intermediate in the process and obtain insights into mechanistic pathways for CO2 photoconversion. These results are now published in the journal ACS Nano. link Congratulations to Gayatri and the rest of the team! Prashant discussed this work in an invited talk at the 256th ACS National Meeting in the Symposium on Technical Developments & Applications of Optical Chemical Imaging.


08.02.18 Under visible-light excitation, graphene fragments are woven from ethylene on the surface of a plasmonic Ag catalyst. Our finding is published in Nature Communications link and also highlighted by the Editors. link Congratulations to Xueqiang and the rest of the team!


07.27.18  Our postdoctoral alumnus Youngsoo Kim will start his faculty position at Yeungnam University in S. Korea. Congratulations and best wishes to Prof. Kim! 


07.23.18  The Department of Chemistry awarded Dinu the Sloan Chemical Prize and Alex the Mark Pytosh Fellowship in recognition of their academic accomplishments. Congratulations to Dinu and Alex!


07.20.18 Prashant becomes a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) for our lab's contribution to the chemical sciences.


06. 22.18 Plasmonic nanoparticle antennas enhance multi-exciton generation in nearby quantum dots and photocatalyze multi-electron chemistry that is otherwise not possible. Our work performed with the Amirav group at Technion will be published in Nano Letters. link


06.11.18 Prashant discussed carbon fixation by gold nanoparticle photocatalysts at the Tata Instiute of Fundamental Research in Mumbai.

06.08.18 Prashant completed a mini-tour of China pic visiting the Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Nanjing University, and South China University of Technology. Thanks to all his gracious faculty and student hosts for the all-round stimulating scientific and cultural experience.

06.03.18   A high concentration of lithium can be incorporated into nanocrystals of the solid electrolyte copper selenide. Our findings, which has implications for Li battery electrolytes, appear in the journal Angewandte Chemie. link Congratulations to first author, Progna!

05.29.18 Prashant selected among List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students for both courses (Statistical Thermodynamics and Physical Chemistry Lab) he taught this semester. For Stat Thermo (Chem 44), he received a score of 5.0/5.0.

05.18.18 Our work on light-driven multi-electron chemistry is featured by the Illinois News Bureau link and highlighted by NSF (Science360 Now link) and several other science media (see Science Daily article).

05.07.18 Not only can plasmonic nanoparticles function as photoredox catalysts, under the right conditions, they can photocatalyze multi-electron, multi-proton redox chemistry. Our findings appear in Nature Chemistry, link where we discuss the principles that govern the harvesting of multiple electron–hole pairs from these photocatalysts. Congratulations to first author Dr. Youngsoo Kim, who is now a Research Professor at IBS-Yonsei.


04.19.18 Congratulations to Progna, who has successfully defended her dissertation and is now to be Dr. Progna Banerjee, PhD in Physics.

04.12.18 We used surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS) to watch how the oxygen evolving complex of Photosystem II splits water under visible light excitation. Our findings are published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. link Congratulations to first author, Andrew Wilson!

​04.04.18 Congratulations to Progna, who has been selected to receive one of the Scott Anderson Outstanding Graduate Assistant Awards in Physics for 2018. The award is named after Dr. Scott Anderson, an Illinois alumnus, who founded Anderson Physics Laboratories in Urbana in 1944. In addition to a monetary award, Progna's name will be added to the list of award winners on display in the hallway of Loomis Laboratory.

04.02.18 Localized surface plasmons can be imaged in real space with nanometer resolution using an STM coupled to a laser. Our work in collaboration with Martin Gruebele and Joe Lyding’s STM team is published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. link Congrats to first authors, Huy and Progna!

02.20.18 Compressive strain stabilizes superionic conduction in materials that have promise in lithium battery electrolytes. Our electronic structure findings of this phenomenon appear in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. link Congratulations to first author, Daniel!


​02.18.18 Prashant discussed the lab's recent insights into CO2 photoconversion on plasmonic catalysts at the Frontiers in Photochemistry conference in Cancun, MX organized by photochemists Amanda Morris and Maria Abrahamsson. link

02.06.18 Plasmonic Au nanoparticles exhibit an intense visible-light absorption, an ability to catalytically activate the relatively inert molecule, CO2, and the capacity to sustain a highly charge-rich interface under light excitation. Au nanostructures are, therefore, able to function as photocatalysts for driving sunlight-mediated conversion of CO2 to hydrocarbon fuels such as methane and ethane. Our findings will appear in Nano Letters and will be featured on the front cover of the April issue. Congratulations to Sungju and rest of the team! link

01.18.18 We are excited to launch our programs on artificial photosynthesis and super-ionic conductors with $1.6M in funding from Shell/Energy Biosciences Institute at UC Berkeley and UIUC.

01.01.18 Our work was cited 2200 times in 2017.



12.19.17 Prashant participated in American Public Radio’s Brains On! podcast on the “science of batteries”.   link  

11.27.17 Ki-Hyun Cho (PhD, Korea U.) has joined us as a postdoctoral scholar. Welcome to the Jain group, Ki-Hyun!

11.20.17 Our work on superionic nanoclusters highlighted in cover story in India's Outlook Magazine link

11.15.17  Congratulations to Sungju who has won the Bronze Medal in the 2017 Samsung Electro-Mechanics Paper Award competition! He presented his work on "Plasmonic control of multi-electron transfer and C-C coupling in visible-light-driven CO2 reduction" at the competition held in S. Korea.

10.30.17 First-year inorganic chemistry graduate student Alex Kurzhals has joined our team to study light-mediated activation of inert molecules. Welcome, Alex!

10.27.17 Prashant named the Richard and Margaret Romano Professorial Scholar (eff. 2018). Thank you to the Romano trust and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their support!

10.05.17 Prashant visited Wabash college in Indiana. It was fun to meet with Chemistry undergraduates and talk about artificial photosynthesis and light-matter interactions.

09.29.17 Our website can now be browsed on mobile devices.

09.22.17 Visiting Professor Shengjie Xia from Zhejiang University of Technology joins us under the auspices of a one-year CSC scholarship. In addition, Ms. Junqi (Fressia) Peng, a Chemistry senior, joins us to work on artificial photosynthesis.

09.13.17 Congratulations to Daniel, who received the Dorothy M. and Earl S. Hoffman Travel Grant! 

09.07.17 Prashant gave the Early Career Award lecture on "plasmonic catalysts for artificial photosynthesis" at the AVS Prairie Chapter meeting in Milwaukee! 

09.05.17  Our perspective on plasmonic catalysts for artificial photosynthesis among most read articles of ACS Energy Letters. See the full list here

08.21.17 ACS Daily Show article on Prashant link

08.21.17 "Tuning photons into chemical bonds" - Prashant gave the Kavli Foundation Emerging Leader lecture at #ACSDC National Meeting. link

08.21.17 Congratulations to Dinu who received the Pytosh Fellowship and Daniel who received the Drickamer Fellowship from the Department of Chemistry!

07.21.17 Mercury selenide in its natural form is a semi-metal. But our lab synthesized this solid with a non-natural anisotropic crystal structure, which has properties of a 3D topological insulator: insulating in the bulk but conducting on the surface. This work by PhD student and solid-state theorist Daniel Dumett jointly with experimental work by physics PhD student Progna Banerjee will appear in the Chemistry of Materials. link

07.21.17 Progna and Dinu presented posters at the Monsanto Research Symposium held at UIUC. Progna won first prize for her top-notch work and presentation!

07.19.17 The group is bidding farewell to Mahima, who has completed her summer research with us as a Bose Scholar. We wish her the best for her remaining studies as IISER. Also, many congratulations to Progna, who received our Department of Physics's Graduate Student Travel Award for Fall 2017.


07.09.17 The Jain Lab welcomes Dr. Jianxiao Gong, link who joins us this month as a research associate. Jianxiao comes to us from Min Ouyang's group in the Physics department at the University of Maryland.


07.04.17 La Recherche magazine featured our work on the use of plasmonic nanocrystals in optical computing in its Jul-Aug 2017 issue. link


07.03.17 Prashant gave an invited talk on "advanced energy materials based on nanocrystals" at the 8th NaNaX nanocrystals conference held in Portugal. link

06.19.17 The Jain Lab welcomes postdoctoral position applications from recent PhD graduates with experience in electrochemistry.


06.03.17 The Jain Lab Summer Retreat took us on a hike through Allerton Park, IL. pic The group also bid a fond farewell to Gayatri.

05.24.17 Our most recent work on plasmonic catalysis will appear in ACS Catalysis. link Congratulations to first author and postdoctoral alumnus Youngsoo Kim, who is now a Research Scientist at the Yonsei-IBS, and co-author Andrew Wilson. We found that hot electrons generated on Au nanoparticles by plasmonic excitation can transport in an unconventional manner, crossing long, insulating spacers in a wire-like manner.

05.24.17 In recent work published in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A, link we describe the in-situ spectroscopy of the formation of a bimetallic Au/Ag nanocatalyst. Single-nanoparticle-level spectroscopy revealed how kinetics dictates catalyst morphology. This article was invited for the 2017 Emerging Investigators Themed Issue. Congratulations to first author and PhD alumnus Jeremy Smith and co-author Alex Zhang!

05.09.17 The American Chemical Society selected Prashant as the Fred Kavli Emerging Leader in Chemistry, as part of which Prashant will present the Kavli lecture at the ACS National Meeting in Washington D.C. in Aug 2017. Thank you to ACS for this honor! The list of past speakers is here. link

05.09.17 Prashant is one of eleven scholars to receive the Campus Distinguished Promotion Award from UIUC. Prashant will be I. C. Gunsalus Scholar and Associate Professor of Chemistry, effective Aug 2017.

05.09.17 Prashant was selected to receive the 2017 American Vacuum Society Prairie Chapter Early Career Award link for his discoveries of collective phenomena in nanostructured materials. The award will be presented at the Prairie Chapter Fall Symposium to be held at Discovery World Science Museum, Milwaukee, WI in Sep 2017, where Prashant will make a presentation on his work. Thank you, Prairie Chapter!

05.09.17 We are excited to be joined by Ms. Mahima Unnikrishnan, an undergraduate student of IISER, who received a Bose scholarship to spend the summer with us performing research on carbon dioxide photoreduction. Welcome, Mahima!

05.01.17 Prashant was interviewed by La Recherche link, France's monthly science magazine about the use of nanocrystals as building blocks in future optical computing.

04.02.17 Prashant is headed to the Spring ACS meeting in San Francisco. link With Cathy Murphy, he co-organized the PHYS division symposium on Plasmonic Nanomaterials: From Physical Chemistry Fundamentals to Societal Impact. There are many exciting speakers lined up, so check out the symposium on Wed and Thu.

03.07.17 Smithsonian Magazine highlighted our work on super-ionic electrolytes in a story by Nathan Hurst on the future of rechargeable batteries. Check it out: link

03.01.17 Our super-ionic cluster materials and their potential as solid-state electrolytes featured in UIUC Press release link and stories at multiple science news sites. R&D AzoNano CEMag

02.19.17 Although copper selenide is super-ionic only at high temperatures, small clusters of copper selenide have an unusual structure making them super-ionic at room temperature. Our finding is published in Nature Communications. link Congratulations to authors, Sarah and Progna!

02.06.17 We were awarded a second patent (US 9,561,488) on nanostructured zinc oxide sorbents for cleaning out polluting organosulfur from fuels like natural gas.

01.04.17 Prashant listed among UIUC Teachers Ranked as Excellent for the fourth consecutive year, this time by his physical chemistry lab course students.

01.01.17 As we welcome the year 2017, Kudos to the research group for many milestones in 2016: we graduated 3 PhDs, welcomed 4 postdocs and 2 graduate students, made some exciting new discoveries in materials science and catalysis, expanded our outreach of nanoDDSCAT to nearly a 1000 global users, and had our work cited over 2000 times this year.


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