Prashant K. Jain
Assistant Professor of Chemistry,
Affiliate in Department of Physics,
Affiliate of the Beckman Institute
Professor Jain received his B.Tech. from the Institute of Chemical Technology in Mumbai, India in 2003 and his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Georgia Tech in 2008. During 2008, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard and from 2009-2011 a Miller Fellow at UC Berkeley. He joined the University of Illinois faculty as an Assistant Professor in Fall 2011. He has affiliations with the Materials Research Lab, the Department of Physics and the Beckman Institute. His research interests are in nano-optics and molecular imaging with the goal of understanding and controlling energy transport, light-matter interactions, and chemical transformations on nanometer length scales.
The theme of the research in the Jain lab hinges on the question: how can we use light to interface better with molecules and nanostructures? The goal is to use light in unique ways to: i) resolve important nanoscale or molecular processes that are not well understood, or, ii) induce novel optoelectronic or photochemical behavior in matter. We are a diverse team with interest and expertise in spectroscopy, materials science, and condensed matter physics. The tools we use include single-molecule spectroscopy, nanofabrication, high-resolution electron microscopy, and plasmonics. The systems we investigate range from artificial photosynthetic systems to nanophotonic switches. Specific research areas include:
Super-Resolution Imaging of Heterogeneous Catalysts. Catalytic processes, despite their importance in the chemical industry as well as in solar-to-fuel conversion, remain poorly understood. This is primarily because of the involvement of surfaces that are often chemically complex and heterogeneous. In most cases, the identity of the active site is still in question. Our lab is using single-molecule super-resolution imaging techniques borrowed from the the biophysics community, and high-resolution electron microscopy, to resolve individual active sites on a catalyst surface. By mapping the distribution, structural composition, and heterogeneity of active sites, we seek to enhance understanding of catalytic materials and processes. Particular focus is on catalysts for water-splitting and CO2 to methanol conversion.
Light-Matter Interactions in the Near Field. The interaction of light with matter is primarily entailed by the excitation of electronic and vibrational modes by the electromagnetic field of light. The characteristic length scale of such excitations is typically on the molecular size scale (ca. 1 Å), whereas the characteristic length scale of the electromagnetic field can be defined for a plane wave by its wavelength (ca. 5000 Å for visible light). This disparity in length scales between a molecule and the electromagnetic field limits light-matter interactions to common dipole-type processes. By employing strong optical resonances of metal nanostructures to 'squeeze' electromagnetic fields down to the nanoscale (10 Å), our lab seeks to bridge the gap between light and molecular excitations and uncover novel photochemistry and photophysical behavior in quantum dots, metalloproteins, chiral molecules, photovoltaic, and photosynthetic systems.
Imaging Phase Transitions in Single Nanocrystals. Phase transitions in solid-state materials often involve interesting dynamics. Since macroscopic solids are typically polycrystalline, such dynamics is smeared out in studies on bulk solids, due to ensemble averaging over different crystalline domains. By acquiring snapshots of a single nanocrystalline domain undergoing a phase transition, our lab is attempting to uncover the dynamic trajectory involved in the nucleation of a new phase. We are developing new optical and spectroscopic methods to acquire snapshots of model phase transitions and also using these techniques to learn new facts about fundamental phenomena such as crystal growth, impurity doping, and correlated electron systems.
Prospective postdocs, students, and collaborators interested in the above research projects are welcome to contact us.
J. G. Smith, J. A. Faucheaux, and P. K. Jain*, “Plasmon resonances for solar energy harvesting: A mechanistic outlook,” Nano Today, 10, 67-80 (2015).
A. L. Routzahn, P. K. Jain*, “Luminescence blinking of a reacting quantum dot,” Nano Letters, 15, 2504-2509 (2015).
A. Fang (co-first), S. L. White (co-first), P. K. Jain*, F. P. Zamborini*, “Regio-selective plasmonic coupling in meta-molecular analogs of benzene derivatives,” Nano Letters, 15, 542-548 (2015).
M. Behl, P. K. Jain*, "Catalytic activation of a solid oxide in electronic contact with Au nanoparticles," Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 54, 992-997 (2015).
P. K. Jain*, "Plasmon-in-a-box: On the physical nature of few-carrier plasmon resonances," Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 5, 3112 (2014).
J. A. Faucheaux, A. L. D. Stanton, P. K. Jain, "Plasmon resonances of semiconductor nanocrystals: Physical principles and new opportunities," Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 5, 976 (2014).
J. G. Smith, Q. Yang, P. K. Jain, "Identification of a critical intermediate in galvanic exchange reactions by single-nanoparticle resolved kinetics," Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 53, 2867 (2014).
J. A. Faucheaux, J. Fu, P. K. Jain, "Unified theoretical framework for realizing diverse regimes of strong coupling between plasmons and electronic transitions," Journal of Physical Chemistry C 118, 2710 (2014).
A. L. Routzahn, P. K. Jain, "Single-nanocrystal reaction trajectories reveal sharp co-operative transitions," Nano Letters, 14, 987 (2014).
P. K. Jain, Gold Nanoparticles in Physics, Chemistry, and Biology: Book Review, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 53, 1197 (2014)
S. White, J. G. Smith, M. Behl, P. K. Jain, "Co-operativity in nanocrystalline solid-state transformation," Nature Communications, 4, 2933 (2013)
J. A. Faucheaux, P. K. Jain, "Plasmons in photocharged ZnO nanocrystals revealing dynamics of charge carriers," Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 4, 3024 (2013). http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jz401719u
P. K. Jain, K. Manthiram, J. H. Engel, S. L. White, J. A. Faucheaux, A. P. Alivisatos, "Doped semiconductor nanocrystals as plasmonic probes of redox chemistry,"Angewandte Chemie International Edition, 52, 13671 (2013).
C. Deeb, X. Zhou, J. Plain, G. Wiederrecht, R. Bachelot, M. J. Russell, and P. K. Jain, “Size-dependence of the plasmonic near-field measured via single-nanoparticle photochemical maging,” Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 117, 10669 (2013).
M. Polking, P. K. Jain, Y. Bekenstein, U. Banin, O. Millo, R. Ramesh, and A. Paul Alivisatos, “Infrared absorption measurements of amorphous and crystalline GeTe nanoparticles: Evidence for surface plasmon resonances in the crystalline phase,” Physical Review Letters, 111, 037401 (2013). http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v111/i3/e037401
M. Behl, J. Yeom, Q. Lineberry, P. K. Jain, M. A. Shannon, “A regenerable oxide-based hydrogen sulphide adsorbent with nanofibrous morphology,” Nature Nanotechnology, 7, 810 (2012).
A. L. Routzahn,* S. L. White,* L.-K. Fong, P. K. Jain, “Plasmonics with doped quantum dots,” Israel Journal of Chemistry, Invited article in special issue on Nanochemistry, 52, 983, (2012).
J. B. Rivest and P. K. Jain, “Cation exchange on the nanoscale: An emerging technique for new material synthesis, device fabrication, and chemical sensing,” Chemical Society Reviews, 42, 89 (2013) http://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/articlehtml/2013/cs/c2cs35241a
- Journal of Physical Chemistry C Lectureship (2015)
- 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Award (2015)
- American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator Award (2014)
- List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students (Spring 2014)
- Beckman Young Investigator Award (2014)
- Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship (2014)
- Golden Jubilee Visiting Fellowship, Institute of Chemical Technology (2013)
- National Academy of Engineering E21 Innovator
- DuPont Young Professor Award (2013)
- US Frontiers of Engineering, National Academy of Engineering (2013)
- Unilever Award for Outstanding Young Investigator
- List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent by Their Students (Fall 2012)
- MIT Technology Review TR35
- IACAT Faculty Fellowship, National Center for Supercomputing Applications
- Miller Fellowship, University of California at Berkeley
- Atlanta Area Chemical Physics Award
- Materials Research Society Gold Award
Nanocrystal atoms cooperate like biomolecules, making better photonic devices possible Read the Laser Focus World article here
Three faculty members awarded 2014 Sloan Fellowships Read the UIUC News Bureau article here
Atoms in a nanocrystal cooperate, much like in biomolecules Read the UIUC News Bureau article here
Top Cited Paper Award from Elsevier: Among top 5 most cited papers in Chemical Physics Letters from 2009-2013
DuPont Celebrates Scientific Innovation by Recognizing Young Professors Reuters news article
Among select American innovators interviewed for National Academy of Engineering's "Educate to innovate program". Contribution will become part of workshop at NAE in Oct 2013 Link
Improved sulfur removal from petroleum-based fuels
Tribology and Lubrication technology article by Neil Cante
Metal oxide nanofibers scrub sulfur from petroleum fuel
Read the UK Engineer article here
A Lower Cost Method to Capture Sulfur From Fuels
Read the New Energy and Fuel article here
- Nanofibers clean sulfur from fuel
Read the UIUC news bureau article here
- Metal oxide nanofibres scrub sulphur from petrol fuels Read the press article here
- Big Little Matter: Two Indian scientists on controlling particles and creating possibilities Read the Indian Express Eye magazine article here
- Prashant Jain selected for Google Solve for [X] 2013 moonshot speakers
Two Illinois chemists named top young innovators
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IACAT fellowships support diverse collaborative projects
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Rewriting Selection Rules
Commentary in Nature Nanotechnology
Bright Lights of Purity: Berkeley Lab Researcher Discover Why Pure Quantum Dots and Nanorods Shine Brighter
Read the LBNL press release here
Take Nanocrystals, Add Boiling Water, and Get a 400-Fold Increase in Luminescence
Breaking Kasha’s Rule: Berkeley Lab Scientists Find Unique Luminescence in Tetrapod Nanocrystals.
- Our plasmonics work includes several top-cited or hot papers with a total of 2000 citations and features in the science news
- Scientists make advancements in the field of quantum dots
- Berkeley Lab researchers find plasmonic resonances in semiconductor nanocrystals
- Quantum dots enable plasmonic semis
Read the EE Times feature here
- Frontier Article and Cover of Chemical Physics Letters (2010 Mar issue) on Plasmonic Coupling
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- #1 most cited papers of all time in Nano Today
Au nanoparticles target cancer
- #1 most cited papers of all time in Nanomedicine
Read the article here
- #1 most cited papers of all time in Plasmonics
Read the article here