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Free and open to the public


Harris Corporation Engineering Center, Room 101A


Plasmonic structures have been highly researched due to their useful scattering and resonant properties. Plasmonic nanostructures like gold nanoparticles can be utilized for various applications ranging from biosensing to energy related applications. The present talk focuses on the use of gold nanoparticles for enhanced light absorption. The rst part of the talk will discuss the synthesis of gold nanoparticles on silicon substrate and their studies on light interaction. Further, silicon nanowire and gold nanoparticle hybrids, analyzed using Raman spectroscopy will be presented. The relationship between light absorption and geometry and position of the gold nanoparticle respect to the Si nanowire will also be analyzed. The Raman data was correlated to Finite Difference Time Domain (FDTD) Simulations. The next part of the talk will consider using varying geometries and shapes of gold nanoparticles as underlayer to enhance light absorption in copper (I) oxide photocathodes for solar water splitting. Here, varying geometries of gold nanoparticles will be fabricated using electrodeposition technique. The copper (I) oxide will be deposited on the gold nanoparticles. The photoelectrochemical measurements of such multilayered structures will be presented. The last part of this talk will introduce the capabilities of Atom Probe characterization technique. The speaker will present results obtained during the work at Northwestern University. The Atom Probe is also available in Iowa State University and also possesses similar attributes compared to the equipment at Northwestern University.

Sonal has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Metallurgy from Government College of Engineering Pune, India. She completed her PhD from the School of Material Engineering, Purdue University in 2010. During Sonal’s PhD, her research involved studying the formation mechanism of amyloid bers from proteins like alpha synuclein. The synthesized amyloid bers were utilized as templates for nanowire synthesis. The nanocrystalline nature of metallic and semiconducting nanowires was characterized using High Resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy and Electron Energy Loss Spectroscopy. Her work was extended to study nanoparticle formation mechanism on a cellulose template, which has a different surface structure compared to an amyloid ber. Sonal’s PhD work as earned her 9 rst author publications and 1 patent. During her work as a postdoctoral fellow at Northwestern University, she studied the working and operation of the Atom Probe. She used the Atom Probe Tomography technique for the compositional characterization of buried interfaces in III-V semiconductors. This characterization technique provides atomic scale three dimensional elemental mapping with part-per-million sensitivity. Her work in Northwestern University earned her 5 journal publications with 2 papers in Nanoletters. Presently, Sonal is working as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Iowa State University. Her research interests are in the area of plasmonics, photocatalysis, sensing and nanomaterial synthesis and characterization.

For further information please click link below:


Sonal Padalkar, Ph.D.

Department of Mechanical Engineering
Iowa State University

Dr. Tengfei Jiang
Materials Science & Engineering
Phone: 407-823-2284

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Light refreshments will be served