2016-17 saw the promotion of Professor Sara Skrabalak to the rank of full professor. She also began as an Associate Editor for Nanoscale, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry that publishes research across nanoscience and nanotechnology. Her group continues to develop new ways of making nanoscale materials with structural precision. This work produced a manuscript in Nanoscale (DOI: 10.1039/C6NR04085C) which reports the highest refractive index sensitivity for gold-based nanomaterials which scatter and absorb light in the visible region. This enhancement was achieved by incorporating palladium into gold nanomaterials with the appropriate shape, and these structures could bring improvements to colorimetric sensing applications.
In fact, graduate student Josh Smith is collaborating with former graduate student, and current scientist at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, Alison Smith to use these nanomaterials in anti-tamper and anti-counterfeit applications for secured electronics. The idea of using nanomaterials in these applications was highlighted in a 2017 manuscript from the Skrabalak group in Journal of Materials Chemistry C (DOI: 10.1039/C7TC00080D). Finally, if you want to learn a bit about Professor Skrabalak’s journey to becoming a scientist, check out her interview for “People behind the Science” at http://www.peoplebehindthescience.com/dr-sara-skrabalak.