London Plasmonics Forum 2023

King’s College London recently hosted the 9th London Plasmonics Forum, which showcased groundbreaking research conducted by early career researchers in the field of plasmonics, photochemistry, nanomaterials and related disciplines. Organised by the EPSRC-funded CPLAS program grant, the forum has provided a platform for emerging scientists to present their work in nanophotonics since 2015.

The keynote talk was presented by Dr Andy Wain from the National Physical Laboratory, who overviewed the applications of vibrational spectroscopy for in situ monitoring of catalytic processes. By elucidating the underlying mechanisms, in situ vibrational spectroscopy offers crucial knowledge for material characterisation and design of novel catalysts by providing understanding of the intricate relationships between surface structure, chemistry, and performance.

The theme of monitoring of chemical transformations was continued in the talk by Dr Cindy Tseng from Imperial College London who presented her research on surface-enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy.

Sebastiano Gadolini from Johnson Matthey presented innovative research on post-synthetic modifications of graphitic carbon nitride for selective organic transformations.

Simone Ezendam from LMU Munich discussed optimizing plasmonic nanoantennas for efficient energy conversion for plasmon-enhanced catalysis.

Marciano Palma Do Carmo from King’s College London shared his research on multi-scale control of analyte motion for sensing applications. By leveraging plasmonic properties, he demonstrated viable and precise manipulation of analytes at various length scales.

Atif Jan from the University of Cambridge spoke about plasmon-enhanced in-operando optical tracking of oxygen vacancy migration in ferroelectric thin films important for novel data storage technologies.

Dr Cuifeng Ying from Nottingham Trent University showcased the power of plasmonic nanotweezers in studying the conformational dynamics of individual proteins and their interaction kinetics.

Lastly, Rakesh Arul from the University of Cambridge demonstrated bridging the visible and mid-infrared spectroscopy using plasmonic nanocavities to achieve single-molecule infrared upconversion.

The Forum also included a poster competition that featured 25 posters. 110 attendees had the chance to interact with researchers and delve into a wide array of plasmonics topics. The session was judged by Dr Ankita Anirban (Nature Reviews Physics), Dr Nina Meinzer (Nature Physics), freelance science journalist and editor Dr Anna Demming, and creativity expert Dr Dennis Sherwood (Silver Bullet Machine). Vittorio Aita from King’s College London emerged as the winner for his research on how complex beams interact with highly anisotropic epsilon-near-zero metamaterials. The Forum continues to attract a diverse audience from academia and industry in London and beyond, and the organising committee eagerly anticipates planning for the 10th London Plasmonics Forum to be held in June 2024.