Naomi Halas

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Naomi Halas is the Stanley C. Moore professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering and professor in Chemistry at Rice University. Her current work focuses on nanoshells which her nanophotonics group is developing at Rice University. In 1987, she was part of a team that developed a "dark pulse" soliton while working for IBM.


Early career

Halas received her Bachelor's degree from La Salle University in 1980. She obtained her Masters degree from Bryn Mawr College in 1984 and her doctorate from Bryn Mawr in 1986.

She was working for IBM in 1987 when she developed a "dark pulse" soliton with Dieter Kroekel, Giampiero Giuliani and Daniel Grischkowsky. A "dark pulse" soliton is a standing wave that propagates through an optical fiber without spreading and which consists of a short interruption of a light pulse.


Halas was recruited to Rice University by the mid-1990s where she now heads the Nanoenginering Unit bearing her name. Her work in the 21st century focuses on noble metal nanoshells covering semiconducting or insulating cores. A nanoshell is a 100 nanometer spherical shell of metal (often gold) surrounding a core of silicon dioxide atoms.

Halas's unit is investigating the special properties of nanoshells including:
  • a potential treatment for cancer similar to chemotherapy but without the toxic side-effects;
  • inexpensive, quick analysis of samples as small as a single molecule.

Halas has received a "Cancer...
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