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Prashant K. Jain

G. L. Clark Professor of Physical Chemistry

Professor of Chemistry

University Scholar

Professor of the Materials Research Lab

Faculty Affiliate, Physics

Faculty Affiliate, Illinois Quantum Information Science and Technology Editorial Advisory Board Member, JACS

Editorial Advisory Board Member, The Journal of Chemical Physics

217-333-3417, Fax: (217)244-3186

jain (at) illinois (dot) edu

Curriculum Vitae 


Elected Fellow of the American Physical Society

Guggenheim Fellow

Elected Fellow of the AAAS

Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Sloan Fellow

Kavli Fellow, National Academy of Sciences

Presidential Early Career Award (PECASE)

MIT TR35 Inventor

Akron American Chemical Society Award

Endowed G. L. Clark Professor

University Scholar

Kavli Emerging Leader in Chemistry Lectureship

Leo Hendrik Baekeland Medal

Beilby Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry & IOM3

Honor Initiate, Alpha Chi Sigma

Center for Advanced Study Associate

National Academy of Engineering Frontiers

National Academy of Engineering E2I Innovator

Defense Science Study Group Member


Highly Cited Researcher, Clarivate Analytics

Most Cited Researchers in ChemE, Elsevier Scopus

Beckman Young Investigator

Alumni Research Scholar

Science News Ten Scientists to Watch (SN10)

Blavatnik National Awards Finalist

Campus Distinguished Promotion Award (2x)

​​​Chemistry Discovery Fund Award

Richard & Margaret Romano Professorial Scholar

AVS Prairie Chapter Early Career Award

I. C. Gunsalus Scholar

J Phys Chem C Lectureship Award

Dupont Young Professor Award

ACS Unilever Award

Center for Advanced Study Beckman Fellow

3M Nontenured Faculty Award

ACS/PRF Doctoral New Investigator

IACAT Faculty Fellow, NCSA

Golden Jubilee Visiting Fellowship, ICT

Google SfX Moonshot thinker/speaker



2024 Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching


2024 LAS Dean's Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching


2015 SCS Faculty Teaching Award

UIUC List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent

(Sp'24, Fa'22, Fa'21, Sp'21, Sp' 20, Fa'19, Sp' 18, Fa'16, Fa'15, Sp'15, Sp'14, Fa'12)

Outstanding Ratings in Fa'19, Sp'20, Fa'22.

Chem 444: Physical Chemistry II

Sp' 2015, 18, 20, 21, 24 | Fa' 2019, 20, 21, 22, 24

(Course Webpage)

Chem 445/7: Physical Principles Lab I/II

Sp' 2013, 14, 18 | Fa' 2013, 14, 15,16

Chem 544A: Graduate Statistical Mechanics

Fa' 2011 | Fa' 2012

Chem 545: Graduate Physical Chemistry Seminar

Sp' 2019, 22

BIOGRAPHY: Prashant Jain earned an undergraduate degree in polymer engineering at the Institute of Chemical Technology. Because of his strong interest in physics and chemistry, he switched to physical chemistry when he started graduate school at Georgia Tech. With M. A. El-Sayed at Georgia Tech, Prashant investigated the nature of energy and carrier relaxation in photoexcited metal nanoparticles using ultrafast spectroscopy and theoretical electrodynamics. Following his PhD, Prashant moved to Harvard University as the first postdoctoral researcher in Adam Cohen's lab. At Harvard, Prashant obtained training in single-molecule microscopy and helped launch a research program on magneto-optical and chiro-optical phenomena. An offer of a Miller Fellowship took Prashant to UC Berkeley, where he was hosted by A. P. Alivisatos. In the Alivisatos group, Prashant established the topotactic nature of cation exchange reactions in ionic nanocrystals and novel effects of doping in quantum dot (e.g., copper sulfide) nanocrystals. Prashant now directs a research laboratory on nanoscale light-matter interactions at UIUC, where he is the G. L. Clark Professor of Physical Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Professor of the Materials Research Lab, University Scholar, and an affiliate faculty member of Physics and Illinois Quantum Information Science and Engineering (IQUIST).


His lab is best known for the concept of plasmonic redox catalysis, superresolution vibrational imaging of catalysts, and the discovery of quantum plasmon resonances in non-metallic nanostructures. Prashant teaches graduate & undergraduate physical chemistry for which he has received recognition, including the Campus Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, the LAS Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching, the School of Chemical Sciences Faculty Teaching Award , and a mention on UIUC's Excellent Teachers list for every course he has taught. Prashant is lead developer of nanoDDSCAT & nanoDDSCAT+, an open-source computational toolkit for nano-optics and photonics, which has been used to launch over 800,000 simulations by users across the world. Prashant is currently on the Editorial Advisory Boards of Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) and the Journal of Chemical Physics (JCP). Previously he has served as a member of the DARPA/IDA Defense Science Study Group, Scientific advisor for Sebacia Inc., member of the Editorial Advisory Board of the Journal of Physical Chemistry, Guest Editor for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Guest Editor for the Journal of Chemical Physics, Guest Editor for the Journal of Physical Chemistry, member of the advisory board of Nanospectroscopy, Associate Head of Major Projects in the Department of Chemistry, and Chair of the Chemical Physics PhD program. He currently serves on the faculty hiring and promotion committee and as the Diversity Advocate for the department. Prashant's research has been cited ~32,500 times (Scholar profile) and highlighted in numerous science media features (links). He has published 116 peer-reviewed journal articles, earned 3 US patents, and given over 120 invited/award/keynote/plenary lectures. Some scientific milestones are listed below along with citations.

Developed plasmonic redox catalysis and photosynthesis

JACS 2022, Nature Comm 2021, JPC C 2021, Angew Chem 2020, Angew Chem 2020, Angew Chem 2020, MRS Bulletin 2020, Nature Comm 2019, Nature Chem 2018, ACS Energy Lett 2019, JPC C 2019, Nature Comm 2018, ACS Nano 2018, JACS 2018, Nano Lett 2018, Nano Lett 2018, ACS Energy Lett, 2018, Nano Lett 2016, ACS Catalysis 2017, Angew Chem 2019, Nano Today 2015.

Co-discovered plasmon resonances in doped quantum dots

Nature Comm. 2017, Chem. Mater. 2022, JPC Lett. 2014, JPC Lett. (Perspective) 2014, Angew. Chem. 2013, JPC Lett. 2013, PRL 2013, Israel J. Chem. 2012, Nature Mater. 2011, TR35, Google SfX

Engineered superionicity on the nanoscale

ACS Nano 2022, Nano Lett 2021, Nature Comm. 2019, Nature Comm 2019, Angew Chem 2019, Chem Mater 2019, Angew Chem 2018, JPC Lett 2018, Nature Comm. 2017.

Reclassified solid-state reactions as co-operative phase transitions

Nature Comm 2013, Nano Lett 2014, Angew. Chem. 2014, Nano Lett 2015, Angew. Chem. 2016, JACS 2016, Chem. Mater 2016, PCCP 2016, JMC A 2017.

Co-developed nanostructured sorbents for sulfur cleanup

Nature Nanotech. 2012, Angew Chem 2015, US Patent 2016, US Patent 2017, IChemE Energy Award Highly Commended Technology, RSC Advances 2018

Employed cation exchange for new nanocrystalline phases

Nature Comm. 2017, Angew Chem 2019, Angew Chem 2018, Chem Mater 2017, Chem. Soc. Rev. 2013, Angew. Chem. 2011, JACS 2010, Chem. Mater 2016, Chem Mater 2019.

Developed scaling rules and bonding model of plasmonic fields

JPC Lett 2018, Nano Lett. 2014, JPC C 2015, Nano Lett. 2010, JPC B 2006, ACS Nano 2010, Chem. Phys. Lett. 2010, Nano Lett. 2008, JPC Lett. 2008, Nano Lett. 2007


Formulated new spectroscopic selection rules in near-fields

JPCC 2014, PNAS 2011, Nano Lett. 2008


Developed guidelines for biomedical use of  gold nanoparticles

Acc. Chem. Res. 2008, Nano Today 2007, JPCB 2006

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