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3/30/2005 Laser chemistry topic of faculty lecture

McMINNVILLE - Nanotechnology and its use in research by a Linfield College chemistry professor will be the focus of a faculty lecture at the college.

Brian Gilbert, assistant professor of chemistry, will present "Laser Chemistry at the Nanoscale: Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) on Noble Metal Nanoparticles" Wednesday, April 13, at 7:30 p.m. in 201 Riley Hall.

Gilbert?s talk will focus on SERS, a laser-based spectroscopic technique that is capable of single molecule detection and molecular fingerprinting. He will also discuss the instruments used for studying SERS and noble metal nanoparticles, explain the Raman and SERS effects, and present the results of collaborative research with 11 Linfield students that has been carried out over the past four years.

The optical properties of nanometer-sized noble metal particles, particularly silver and gold, have been of interest since at least the fourth century. Noble metal nanoparticles were used to color stained glass windows, and were first studied scientifically by Michael Faraday. More recently, metal nanoparticles have received renewed attention as researchers in a variety of disciplines, including chemistry, biology, physics and engineering, seek to understand the properties of matter at the nanoscale as part of the growing field of nanotechnology.

Gilbert uses a soccer ball analogy to illustrate the microscopic size of a nanometer.

"If a nanometer-sized particle and a soccer ball were enlarged proportionally, the nanoparticle would be the size of a soccer ball and the ball would be larger than the planet Neptune," noted Gilbert, a member of the Linfield faculty since 2001, who holds a bachelor?s from the University of Arizona and a doctorate from Indiana University.

The lecture is free and open to the public. The Linfield College faculty lecture series offers one presentation each month by a member of the Linfield faculty. For more information, call 503-883-2409.