I am interested in nanoscale optical-, thermal-, and fluidic forces. Our lab combines novel optical techniques, based on optofluidic waveguides, to study these interactions in a highly controlled way. We have, for example, optically propelled micro- and nanoparticles in hollow-core photonic crystal fibre and used them as microscale probes that measure thermally driven flow or electric fields. The system also enables photochemical and catalytic reactions on samples volumes that are five orders of magnitude smaller than in conventional methods. These fundamental studies are expected to have a strong impact on the development of new catalytic and photochemical systems for applications such as water-splitting and the development of novel light-activated anti-cancer drugs.
Our research is highly interdisciplinary and makes full use of existing expertise in nanoparticle spectroscopy, catalysis, microscopy, and microfluidics, both at the Cavendish and across the School of Physical Sciences.