Venturing Into Analytical Chemistry Using Photonic Crystals
Presented by Joanna Aizenberg
This presentation will introduce a powerful colloidal co-assembly approach that results in large-scale, highly ordered porous photonic crystals. The unique coloration of these opal films combines iridescence with plasmonic effects. Their composition and optical properties are demonstrated to be locally tunable using selective functionalization of the doped opals. The latter exhibit a sharply defined threshold wettability for infiltration. This liquid-specific wetting behavior naturally couples to macroscopic color changes. We are exploiting this effect in the development of simple and low-cost colorimetric indicators for medical applications, for oil classification, in encryption, and as a tag for monitoring of tampering or material aging. I will further expand these ideas to create novel, machine learning-enabled artificial nose platforms that utilize biomimetic dynamic ‘sniffing’ approaches.
Who is Joanna Aizenberg?
Joanna Aizenberg received the B.S. degree in Chemistry from Moscow State University, and the Ph.D. degree in Structural Biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science. After spending nearly a decade at Bell Labs, Joanna joined Harvard University, where she is the Amy Smith Berylson Professor of Materials Science and Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology.
The Aizenberg lab’s research is aimed at understanding some of the basic principles of biological architecture and the economy with which nature solves complex problems in the design of multifunctional, adaptive materials. These biological principles are then used as guidance in developing new, bio-inspired synthetic routes and nanofabrication strategies that would lead to advanced materials and devices, with broad implications in fields ranging from architecture to energy efficiency to medicine. Research topics of interest include biomimetics, smart materials, wetting phenomena, bio-nano interfaces, self-assembly, surface chemistry, structural color, metamaterials and catalysis.
Aizenberg is elected to the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science; and she is a Fellow of the American Physical Society, Materials Research Society and External Member of the Max Planck Society. Dr. Aizenberg’s select awards include: MRS Medal, Kavli Innovations in Chemistry Leader Award, ACS; Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship in Nanoscience, MRS; Ronald Breslow Award for the Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry, ACS; and Harvard’s Ledlie Prize for the most valuable contribution to science. She has >280 publications, >90 issued patents, and is a Founder of four start-up companies.