Naomi Halas, M.A. ‘84 and Ph. D. ‘87 in physics at Bryn Mawr College, was elected to join the National Academy of Engineering for her research in nanoscale engineering of optical resonances and lineshapes. Prof. Halas is currently the Stanley C. Moore Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and holds appointments as Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics & Astronomy at Rice University, Houston where she is also the Director of the Laboratory for Nanophotonics.
Halas’ PhD research was performed with Daniel Grischkowsky at IBM Yorktown in the area of ultrafast nonlinear optics and dark soliton generation, including work on the first terahertz time-domain spectroscopy efforts. Dr. Halas joined Rice University following her postdoctoral fellowship at AT&T Bell Laboratories, where she studied time-resolved photoemission spectroscopy on semiconductor surfaces.
She is the author of more than 200 refereed publications, has more than 15 issued and pending patents, and has presented more than 300 invited talks. She is best known scientifically in the field of plasmonics as the inventor of tunable nanoparticles with resonances that span the visible and infrared regions of the spectrum, studying their properties and pursuing applications in biomedicine, chemical sensing, and energy.
Dr. Halas is co-founder of Nanospectra Biosciences, Inc., a company currently commercializing a photothermal cancer therapy based on her nanoparticles. She is founder and Director of the Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) at Rice, which supports collaborations and interactions among researchers at Rice and other institutions nationally and internationally in the field of Plasmon-based optics and applications. She is the Principal Investigator of an NSF-funded integrative graduate education and research training grant (IGERT) in Nanophotonics, the first such graduate training program in the U.S.