King's College London
David Richards is a Professor of Physics at King’s College London. He was Head of the Department of Physics from 2007 to 2015 and Vice-Dean (Research) in the Faculty of Natural, Mathematical &Engineering Sciences from 2014 to 2022.
David’s current research interests are in the area of plasmonics, in particular the development of plasmonic nanomaterials with a focus on their potential application in photocatalysis. When light interacts with a plasmonic nanostructure, it can excite collective oscillations called surface plasmons, which enable efficient use of electromagnetic radiation over a broad wavelength range from the ultraviolet to the infrared, with large electromagnetic field enhancements in the vicinity of the nanostructure. Some of the light energy stored in these surface plasmons can be re-emitted as light but some can also decay into an electron-hole pair – an energetic, “hot” carrier. If these hot carriers can be extracted from the plasmonic nanostructure efficiently, they can be used to drive novel photochemical reactions.