• Plenary speakers

  • Naomi J. Halas, Rice University, USA
    "From Faraday to tomorrow: light-based applications for gold nanoparticles"
    Research topics: nano-optics and plasmonics; applications in biomedicine, chemical sensing, optoelectronics
    Halas is one of the pioneering researchers in the field of plasmonics, creating the concept of the “tunable plasmon” and inventing a family of nanoparticles with resonances spanning the visible and infrared regions of the spectrum. She pursues fundamental studies of coupled plasmonic systems as well as applications of plasmonics in biomedicine, optoelectronics, chemical sensing, photocatalysis, and most recently in solar energy and sustainability, with ‘solar steam’ technology. She is co-founder of Nanospectra Biosciences, a Houston-based company developing photothermal therapies for cancer and other diseases based on her nanoparticles, currently in multiple clinical trials, and is currently transferring other technologies from her laboratory.
    >> Naomi J. Halas
  • Antonio Echavarren, ICIQ Tarragona, Spain
    “Gold-complexes for the synthesis of bioactive compounds”
    Research topics: gold complex synthesis, homogeneous catalysis and synthesis organic and biomolecules
    The most important contributions of his group have been in the area of homogeneous gold catalysis, where they have established the basis for the mechanistic understanding of the reactions of alkynes with alkenes that have guided the discovery of many new transformations, which have been applied in the context of the total synthesis of biologically relevant natural products and molecules of interest in material science. His group has also introduced new gold catalysts that are used routinely by many research groups.
    >> Antonio M. Echevarren
  • Cynthia Friend, Harvard University, USA
    “Predicting catalytic function of gold-based alloys: fundamentals and application”
    Research topics: catalysis, surface science and DFT, gold mono and bi-metallic, reactions of selective oxidation
    Friend’s current research is focused on developing solutions to important problems in energy usage and environmental chemistry. The two major research projects on going in the Friend group are (1) development of design principles for efficient and sustainable heterogeneous catalysis and (2) foundational studies of photochemical processes on transition metal oxides and nanomaterials.  Experiments span fundamental surface science studies, imaging and spectroscopy investigation of materials evolution under reaction conditions, and catalyst testing in flow reactors.  Strong theoretical collaborations provide deeper understanding of these processes.
    >> Cynthia Friend
  • David Thomson Memorial Lecture

  • Georges Calas, Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France
    “From gold nuggets to "invisible" gold: how the coordination chemistry of gold demonstrates its diversity in geological systems”
    Research topics: mineralogy, mineral resources and sustainable development, structure-property relationships in materials, solid-state spectroscopy
    His scientific activities concentrate on integrating spectroscopic and structural methods to understand disordered materials, including structure-property relationships in natural minerals and synthetic materials. The outcome concerns the crystal chemistry of minor elements in minerals, the structure and properties of glasses, radiation damage and radiogenic waste, and environmental mineralogy. Additional expertise concerns mineral resources and sustainable development.
    >> Georges Calas