Sasha Rakovich has recently obtained a Royal Society University Research Fellowship. She works at Imperial College London and is our 2nd Researcher to go under the spotlight.
What excites you the most about this research programme?
The possibility of generation and utilisation of hot electrons is a very exciting prospect. Effectively, these provide a new direction of advantageous exploitation of what was previously thought to be a limitation of plasmonics, to achieve a truly nanoscale control of physical and chemical processes. This is a very inspiring development and is sure to result in emergence of many exciting new research directions.
What is your particular research area?
My primary research direction is the utilisation of semiconductor quantum dots for photonic applications. Some of my research directions include their use as nanoscale sources in plasmonics-based devices and as light-harvesting antenna for biological molecules. I am also very committed to development of new nanofabrication and selective localisation techniques. I believe that development of new techniques propels the scientific research forward.
What are you currently working on?
I am looking into applying bio-inspired approaches to Nanophotonics applications. Nature is incredible at combining materials with moderate efficiencies to create systems with high overall efficiencies. In many cases it does so through nanoscale control of components’ relative positions and orientations. I am investigating whether such approaches can be transposed to quantum dot and plasmonic systems to control energy flow on nanoscales.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I think that being active is essential to a healthy and balanced lifestyle. When not at work, I enjoy hiking, playing squash with friends and running. Recently, I have completed my first half-marathon. It was tough but very enjoyable!
Do you have any advice to young people who’d like to get into science?
Explore all options – attend open days, participate in extra-curricular activities – and choose a career that you can be passionate about!