The Willets lab is interested in understanding how heterogeneity at the nanoscale impacts materials properties and functions, with applications in spectroscopy, molecular sensing, and electrochemistry. Our primary focus is in the field of plasmonics, in which we study the interactions among ~10-100 nm noble metal nanostructures, organic molecules, and light. We use a variety of spectroscopy and microscopy techniques, including super-resolution imaging, single molecule fluorescence, surface-enhanced Raman scattering (SERS), and dark field scattering, and complement these studies with structural characterization methods such as atomic force microscopy and electron microscopy.
Y. Yu, K. Wijesekara, X.X. Xi, K.A. Willets. “Quantifying Wavelength-Dependent Plasmonic Hot Carrier Energy Distributions at Metal/Semiconductor Interfaces.” ACS Nano. 13, 3629 (2019).
X. Cheng, T.P. Anthony, C.A. West, Z. Hu, V. Sundaresan, A.J. McLeod, D.J. Masiello, K.A. Willets. “Plasmon heating promotes ligand reorganization on single gold nanorods." J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 10, 1394 (2019).
Y. Yu, V. Sundaresan, K.A. Willets. “Hot Carriers vs. Thermal Effects: Resolving the Enhancement Mechanisms for Plasmon-Mediated Photoelectrochemical Reactions.” J. Phys. Chem. C. 122, 5040 (2018).
V. Sundaresan, J.W. Monaghan, K.A. Willets. "Visualizing the Effect of Partial Oxide Formation on Single Silver Nanoparticle Electrodissolution." J. Phys. Chem. C. 122, 3138 (2018).
K.A. Willets, A.J. Wilson, V. Sundaresan, P.B. Joshi. “Super-resolution imaging and plasmonics.” Chemical Reviews. 117, 7538 (2017).
K. L. Blythe and K.A. Willets. “Super-resolution imaging of fluorophore-labeled DNA bound to gold nanoparticles: a single molecule, single particle approach.” Invited feature article. J. Phys. Chem. C. 120, 803 (2016).