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Naomi J. Halas


Naomi J. Halas is Stanley C. Moore Professor in electrical and computer engineering, professor of biomedical engineering, chemistry, physics and astronomy, and Director of the  Laboratory for Nanophotonics at Rice University. She received her Ph.D. in 1986 from Bryn Mawr College and her D.Sc. in 2007 from La Salle University. She is interested in the rational design of nanoscale optical devices which exploit the plasmon resonant properties of ultrasmall metal structures to focus and manipulate light. This work combines electromagnetic theory with nanofabrication tools developed largely from chemistry. For the past few years her research has focused primarily on Nanoshells, a layered dielectric core/metal shell composite nanoparticle developed in her laboratory at Rice. Metal Nanoshells have geometrically tunable optical resonances that can span a large portion of the visible and infrared regions of the spectrum, and can be exploited as ultrasensitive nanosensors. The Halas Nanophotonics Group is actively pursuing applications of nanoshells in biomedicine, in applications relating to ultrafast immunoassays, optically triggerable drug delivery, early stage cancer detection and photothermal cancer therapy.  She is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, a Fellow of the SPIE, and a Fellow of the IEEE. She has received the "Cancer Innovator" Award from the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs of the U. S. Department of Defense. She was recently named a National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow by the Department of Defense and has been named Associate Editor of Nano Letters. In 2009, she became a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Internet: