Naomi Halas

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Naomi Halas
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materLa Salle University, Bryn Mawr College
Known forCore-shell nanoparticles with tunable plasmonic resonances
AwardsDoD Cancer Innovator, Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize, Willis E. Lamb Award, Weizmann Women in Science Award, R. W. Wood Prize, SPIE Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award, Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids
Scientific career
FieldsPhotonics, Plasmonics, Nanophotonics, Nanotechnology
InstitutionsIBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center, AT&T Bell Laboratories, Rice University,
Thesis (1987)

Naomi J. Halas is the Stanley C. Moore Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Professor of biomedical engineering, chemistry and physics at Rice University.[1] She is also the founding director of Rice University Laboratory for Nanophotonics, and the Smalley-Curl Institute.[2] She invented the first nanoparticle with tunable plasmonic resonances, which are controlled by their shape and structure,[3] and has won numerous awards for her pioneering work in the field of nanophotonics and plasmonics. She was also part of a team that developed the first dark pulse soliton in 1987 while working for IBM.

She is a Fellow of nine professional societies, including the Optical Society of America, the American Physical Society, the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Her current research at Rice University focuses on studying light-matter interaction in plasmonic nanoparticles for applications in chemical sensing, biomedical sciences, catalysis, and energy.[4]


Halas received her bachelor's degree from La Salle University in 1980. She obtained her master's degree from Bryn Mawr College in 1984 and her doctorate from Bryn Mawr in 1987.[5] She was a graduate research fellow at the IBM Thomas J Watson Research Center during her doctoral studies, during which time she developed the first "dark pulse" soliton with Dieter Kroekel, Giampiero Giuliani and Daniel Grischkowsky.[6] A "dark pulse" soliton is a standing wave that propagates through an optical fiber without spreading and which consists of a short interruption of a light pulse. She was also part of the first research efforts focusing on time-domain terahertz spectroscopy during her time at IBM.[7]

Career and research[edit]

Halas was a postdoctoral research fellow at AT&T Bell Laboratories before joining Rice University in 1990, where she now heads the Nanoengineering research group bearing her name.[5] She was appointed Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Department of Chemistry in 1999, and three years later was named the Stanley C. Moore Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering. In 2004, she became the director of the Laboratory for Nanophotonics at Rice. She has also been a Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Department Physics since 2006 and 2009, respectively.[8]

Plasmonic nanoshells[edit]

Halas' work in the 21st century focuses on noble metal nanoshells covering semiconducting or insulating cores. Her research was the first to experimentally show that nanoshells with different dimensions and shapes have different plasmonic resonances, and that these resonances could therefore be tuned by changing nanoparticle geometries.[9] Controlling light-matter interaction of these plasmonic nanoparticles includes applications in chemical sensing, catalysis, and energy harvesting, as well as photodynamic therapy and other biomedical applications.

In 2003, Halas and her colleague Jennifer L. West were awarded the Nanotechnology Now Best Discovery Award for their "their groundbreaking work to develop a cancer therapy based on metallic nanoshells".[10] Halas also received the Innovator Award from the US Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Breast Cancer Research Program, and was awarded a four-year $3 million grant to conduct further research into the treatment.[11]

Other research[edit]

Her research also looks at how to integrate plasmonic particles with other photonic systems. The Halas groups collaborates with the Energy Frontier Research Center at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to study using plasmonics to improve the energy harvesting properties of semiconductor quantum dots and nanocrystals.[12] They use surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy and surface-enhanced infrared absorption to develop single-molecule sensing techniques.[12]

Awards and honors[edit]

She has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (2013), National Academy of Engineering (2014), National Academy of Inventors (2015), American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005), and American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2009). She is a fellow of the American Physical Society (2001), the Optical Society of America (2003), SPIE (2007), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (2008), and the Materials Research Society (2013).

Selected publications[edit]

  • L R Hirsch; R J Stafford; J A Bankson; et al. (3 November 2003). "Nanoshell-mediated near-infrared thermal therapy of tumors under magnetic resonance guidance". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 100 (23): 13549–13554. Bibcode:2003PNAS..10013549H. doi:10.1073/PNAS.2232479100. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 263851. PMID 14597719. Wikidata Q37089559.
  • E. Prodan; C. Radloff; N. J. Halas; P. Nordlander (1 October 2003). "A hybridization model for the plasmon response of complex nanostructures". Science. 302 (5644): 419–422. Bibcode:2003Sci...302..419P. doi:10.1126/SCIENCE.1089171. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 14564001. Wikidata Q79176466.
  • Naomi J Halas; Surbhi Lal; Wei-Shun Chang; Stephan Link; Peter Nordlander (4 May 2011). "Plasmons in strongly coupled metallic nanostructures". Chemical Reviews. 111 (6): 3913–3961. doi:10.1021/CR200061K. ISSN 0009-2665. PMID 21542636. Wikidata Q84034991.


  1. ^ "Naomi J. Halas | Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) | Rice University". Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  2. ^ "SCI Leadership | Smalley-Curl Institute | Rice University". Retrieved 2020-06-16.
  3. ^ "Prof. Naomi Halas | Women In Science". Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  4. ^ "Halas Research Group". Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  5. ^ a b "2018 Stanley Corrsin Award Recipient". Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  6. ^ Krökel, D.; Halas, N. J.; Giuliani, G.; Grischkowsky, D. (1 January 1988). "Dark-pulse propagation in optical fibers". Physical Review Letters. 60 (1): 29–32. Bibcode:1988PhRvL..60...29K. doi:10.1103/PHYSREVLETT.60.29. hdl:11244/19907. ISSN 0031-9007. PMID 10037859. Wikidata Q74485347.
  7. ^ "AHF Featured Member: Dr. Naomi Halas". Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  8. ^ "Naomi J. Halas CV" (PDF). Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  9. ^ "Naomi Halas". Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  10. ^ "Nanotechnology Now - Best of Nanotechnology - 2003 Awards. Best Discoveries". Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  11. ^ a b "Halas, West awarded 'best discovery'". Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  12. ^ a b "Publications - Halas Research Group". Retrieved 2020-06-27.
  13. ^ "Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize Recipient: Naomi Halas". Retrieved 2018-01-29. Citation:"for her pioneering research at the intersection of optics and nanoscience, and groundbreaking applications of those findings in the field of plasmonics, and for her exceptional impact communicating the excitement of scientific discoveries and their vital role in improving people’s lives."
  14. ^ "The Willis E. Lamb Award for Laser Science and Quantum Optics". Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  15. ^ "Weizmann Women and Science Award: Prof. Naomi Halas". Retrieved 2018-01-29. “For pioneering and seminal contributions to the field of plasmonics, which have profoundly influenced modern optics – both in basic understanding and in applications”
  16. ^ "Halas, Nordlander awarded Optical Society's R.W. Wood Prize". 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  17. ^ "Naomi Halas honored with Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award" (PDF). 2014-03-14. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  18. ^ "2014 Frank Isakson Prize for Optical Effects in Solids Recipient Halas". Retrieved 2018-01-29. Citation: "For seminal contributions to our understanding of the photophysics of low dimensional material systems, revealing the rich optical properties of plasmons, excitons, and electrons in confined geometries."
  19. ^ "Honoris Causa". 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2018-01-29.
  20. ^ "Gordon Research Conferences: Alexander M. Cruickshank Awards". Archived from the original on 2012-08-04. Retrieved 2018-01-29.

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