• We do discoveries in Nanospectroscopy.


We push the limits of optical spectroscopy.

Our Rockstar Team.

Over the years many talented undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral fellows have joined our group. We are always striving for talents who want to learn about spectroscopy, microscopy and nanoscale science applied to a variety of Materials and Biomaterials.

François Lagugné-Labarthet

Principal Investigator, CRC chair in Nanosciences and photonics

FLL has done most of his studies in his native town of Bordeaux, France. He obtained his PhD in Physical Chemistry under the supervision of Dr. C.Sourisseau in 1998. After a Post-doc at Queen's University Canada in the group of Prof P.Rochon and late Prof. A. Natansohn, he became a Chargé de Recherche at the CNRS-University Bordeaux 1. During this time he developed optical experiments to probe polymers thin films and spent time at UC Berkeley in the group of Prof. R. Shen where he participated to projects in nonlinear optics such as Sum Frequency Generation and near-field NLO optical measurments. In 2007 he started as an assistant professor at Western University where he obtained a Canada Research Chair in Nanoscience in 2008. He is the scientific director of the Nanofabrication Facility at Western, a open-user facility that aims at training the next generation of nanoscale scientists.

Gregory Wallace

PhD student: multispectral surface enhanced spectroscopies

Gregory Wallace is from Oshawa Ontario, located approximately one hour east of Toronto. He first joined Prof. Lagugné-Labarthet’s group in September 2012 for his 4th year thesis titled “Using plasmonics to determine the limit of detection by Raman spectroscopy.” He received his B.Sc. from Western in 2013 and proceeded to remain with the Lagugné-Labarthet group as a Ph.D. candidate. Greg’s NSERC funded research is focused on the development of plasmonic platforms for visible and mid-infrared surface-enhanced spectroscopies used for the detection of various analytes.

Danielle McRae

PhD student: Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy

Danielle comes from Ottawa, where she attended Carleton University and completed her B.Sc. Honours in Chemistry and Physics in 2015. As a summer student, she worked at the National Research Council in the fibre optic group, working on electroless nickel plating of fibre Bragg gratings. She completed her honours project, titled “Plasmonic fibre-based SERS sensors”, under the supervision of Prof. Ianoul. In September 2015, Danielle joined Prof. Lagugné-Labarthet’s group as a Masters student. Her NSERC-funded research is focussed on the application of tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy to nanostructured polymer surfaces and the synthesis of metallic nanoplates.

Lauren Kaufman

Master Student: Plasmonic for lifescience

Lauren Kaufman comes from Mississauga, Ontario where she attended The University of Toronto Mississauga. She graduated with a HBSc in Biology and Chemistry in 2015. Lauren took on an exciting role during a gap-year in 2015-2016 within the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research, Drug Discovery Program. This position further nourished her interests in Analytical Chemistry. Lauren joined the FLL lab in September 2016 as a Masters student. Her research will focus on the application of plasmonics to biological systems.

Alex Therien

Master Student.

Alex went to the University of Ottawa and completed his Honours B.Sc. in Chemistry with Co-op option. He has started his Master in Chemistry at Western in may 2017 with a project focussing on the nonlinear optical properties of plamonic materials. At the moment he is getting acquaited with some of the FLL microscope setups. Alex love to bike, lift, and drink coffee. Fun fact: his grandmother sewed the first Canadian flag!

Sydney Ledge

3 rd year Summer Student (2017). Polarization modulation spectroscopy.

Sydney Legge is from London, Ontario, where she is currently completing her Honours B. Sc. in Biochemistry and Chemistry at Western University. She joined Professor Lagugné-Labarthet’s group in the summer of 2017 as an NSERC USRA recipient. Her four-month study will focus on polarization modulation-infrared reflection-absorption spectroscopy (PM-IRRAS).

Wenyi Bian

Exchange undergraduate Student from Soochow University: Synthesis of Silver nanoplates

Wenyi Bian is from Soochow, Jiangsu, China. She is a senior student majored in nanomaterial in Soochow University. In February 2017, she joined Prof. Lagugné-Labarthet's group for a four-month study related to the synthesis of nanoplates. It would be a wonderful and unforgettable experience for her to treasure.

Brianne Potts

4th year undergraduate thesis: The chemistry of Daguerrotypes

Brianne is from Dryden, Ontario, a small town in Northwestern Ontario. She joined the FLL group in 2016 when she began her fourth year thesis project, while completing her Honours Specialization in Chemistry at the University of Western Ontario. Her thesis project is a joint project between FLL, TK Sham and Ron Martin, entitled “Understanding Chemistry of Early Photography: the Daguerrotypes

Keuna Jeon

4th year undergraduate thesis: Synthesis of metallic nanoplates

Keuna Jeon is born in Seoul, Korea and lived in London, Canada since 2008. She first joined Prof. Lagugné-Labarthet's group in 2016 for 4th year thesis project at Western University; titled "Fabrication, characterization and evalution of metallic nanoplates." In her spare time, she likes to watch movies and play squash.

Hayden Foy

4th year undergraduate thesis: Modelling Plasmonic Nanostructures

Hayden is from Niagara on the Lake, Ontario. He first joined the FLL group in his 3rd year at Western University as a volunteer student and became acquainted with electromagnetic modeling of metallic nanostructures. He is presently pursing his 4th year thesis project in the FLL group on "Tailoring the optical properties of plasmonic nanostructures through rational design". In his spare time he enjoys learning the Japanese language and playing squash.

Dr. Mohammadali Tabatabaei

Alumni. Nanoscale spectroscopy of biosystems

Mohammadali comes from Tehran, the capital city of Iran. In 2010, he received a B. Sc. degree in Chemistry from the Shahid Beheshti University-SBU (Formerly known as the National University of Iran). Then, he moved to Canada in 2011 to pursue his graduate studies. He joined FLL group as a master student in 2011 and he transferred to Ph.D. in 2012. He finished his Ph.D in 2015 at FLL group in the Department of Chemistry of Western University with specialization in Analytical and Materials Chemistry. During this time, his research was focused on design and fabrication of integrated plasmonic platforms for ultra-sensitive molecular and biomolecular detections. His research was bridging the disciplines of physical chemistry, engineering, and biology. He collaborated with scientists at Western Nanofabrication Facility and Robarts research Institute to tackle biological problems using advanced spectroscopy and microscopy. In his down time, he enjoys playing music specifically Daf (Iranian Frame Drum) and different sports in particular volleyball and tennis. Mohammadali currently works as a post-doctoral fellow in FLL group.

Dr. Alexandre Garreau

Alumni. near-field fluorescence microscopy

Alexandre Garreau comes from Angers, France. In 2008, He graduated in Physics, specialization "nanosciences, nanophysics, and nanotechnologies", at the University of Nantes in 2010. In October 2013, he obtained a PhD in physics "Design of luminescent organic nanowires and transition-metal clusters compounds-based hybrid nanowires". In August 2014, he joined the FLL team at Western as a postdoctoral fellow. His research focused on the local study of plasmonic surfaces by Near-field Scanning Optical Microscopy (NSOM).

Dr. Farshid Pashaee (PhD 2016)

Alumni. Nanoscale spectroscopy

Farshid comes from Urmia, a city in the North West of Iran. In 2006 he received a B. Sc. degree in Chemistry from the Mohaghegh Ardabili University, in Iran. Then, he graduated in Master degree of chemistry, specialization "Analytical chemistry", at the K. N. Toosi University of Technology in 2008. During this time, he did an internship at the Research Institute of Petroleum Industry, Tehran, Iran. His thesis project title was " In A new silica-multi wall carbon nanotube/nanocomposite as a stationary phase in gas chromatography”. In September 2011, Farshid joined FLL group as a PhD student. His research was focused on the study of materials and biomaterials organized at the nano- and micro scales using a combination of scanning probe microscopy together with a variety of optical microscopy techniques. His thesis was about study of gap-mode of Tip-enhanced Raman spectroscopy technique (TERS) to develop for the study of a variety of materials.

Dr. Nastaran Kazemi-Zanjani (PhD 2014)

Alumni: Nanoscale spectroscopy of biosystems

Nastaran Kazemi-Zanjani received her BSc. degree in Chemistry in 2005 from K. N. Tousi University of Technology and her MSc. degree in Physical Chemistry in 2009 from Tehran University, Iran. Nastaran moved to Canada in 2010 to pursue a PhD. degree in Physical-Analytical Chemistry in FLL’s group at Western University. During her PhD. studies, she developed an experimental setup for Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (TERS) by combining the high spatial resolution of atomic force microscopy (AFM) with the high sensitivity of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy. Her contribution to the field of TERS and nanophotonics also includes Finite-Difference Time-Domain modelling to optimize the TERS process. She applied TERS to a variety of materials and biomaterials such as carbon nanotubes, silicon nanowires and protein adsorption on biological microcrystals. Since March 2015, Nastaran has been working as a Connaught Global Challenge Program sponsored Postdoctoral researcher at the Edwards S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at University of Toronto. Her current research work is focused on developing the high-sensitivity and rapid hyperspectral on-chip optical sensors for point-of-care biosensing.

Dr. Renjie Hou (PhD 2016)

Alumni. Nonlinear Optical Microscopy

Renjie Hou is from Dongtai, a beautiful town from east China. In 2007 he was accepted as a undergraduate student, Physics Department, Nanjing University.He involved in the research related to quantum and nonlinear optics, and finally received a B. Sc degree in 2011. In the same year, he joined Prof. Lagugné-Labarthet's group to seek more challenge, as a Ph. D student. During these five years, he was in charge of the development of several advanced setups such as polarization modulation spectroscopy and second harmonic microscopy. In April 2016, he received a Ph. D degree, with a thesis titled "Optical Characterization of Anisotropic Interfaces

Dr. Kristen Snell (PhD 2014)

Alumni. Photochromic materials

Kristen was born and raised in London, Ontario. She attended Western University and got her B. Sc. degree in chemistry. Following that she obtained her M. Sc degree in organic chemistry with her work involving interfacial reactions on the surface of gold nanoparticles. With the desire to spread her wings and fly, she did a dual Ph. D. degree program between Western University and the Université de Nantes (France) under the supervision of Prof. E. Ishow and FLL. In the fall of 2014, Kristen obtained her Ph.D. with her research on photochromic molecules and their ability to organize nanoparticles. Since 2015, Kristen has been working at Fanshawe College as a Professor of Chemistry and has been loving every moment.

Sarvesh Varma

Alumni. Surface Biopatterning (Co-op 2007)

Sarvesh graduated from University of Waterloo with B.A.Sc degree in Nanotechnology Engineering (Honors) in 2010. During his undergraduate studies, Sarvesh joined the FLL group as a co-op student in 2007. In his internship he invented a novel surface patterning method enabling precise positing and integration of biological cells with sensor platforms, while also working on other projects relating to surface chemistry and nanofabrication. In 2010, Sarvesh moved to Massachusetts Institute of Technologies for graduate school, where he joined the Biological Microtechnology and BioMEMS group under the guidance of Prof. Joel Voldman. Here, he completed his Masters thesis and is currently pursuing his PhD in the area of genetically engineered cell-based sensors for investigating physiologic and pathologic phenomenon within microsystems.

Dr. Betty Galarreta (PhD2011)

Alumni. Plasmonics and microfluidics

Betty comes from Lima, Peru. She graduated with a B.Sc. in Chemistry from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru (PUCP) in 2006.In 2007 she joined the FLL and Norton Research Groups at Western and obtained her PhD in Chemistry in 2011 on ""Rational Design and Advanced Fabrication of Metallic Nanostructures for Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy" in Chemistry. She was then a postdoctoral fellow in the group of Dr. Hatice Altug at the Photonic Center at Boston University, where she continued working within the field of nanophotonics and biosensing systems and the development of hand-held optical biosensors. Since 2013 Betty is an associate Professor at PUCP. Her work encompasses the development of optical sensing devices and methods that could be easily integrated in the quality control process of agricultural products and could be sensitive enough to provide structural information of the molecules present in the samples when needed.

Christine Seguin (MsC 2009)

Alumni. Microfluidics and cell localization

Christine was born and raised in Sudbury, Ontario. She graduated from Laurentian University in 2007 with an Honours B. Sc. in Chemistry. In 2007, Christine began her Masters degree under the joint supervision of Drs. Peter Norton and François Lagugné-Labarthet at the University of Western Ontario. Christine has always been François’ favourite student (haha!) and in 2009, she successfully defended her thesis entitled “Patterned Functionalization of Poly(dimethylsiloxane) for Microarray Applications”. In 2009, Christine moved on to the University of Ottawa, where she earned her Bachelor of Education. Upon completing her studies, she was hired by the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Ottawa as the Environmental Engineering Technical Officer. Since 2013, Christine has been working as the Health and Safety Inspector for the University of Ottawa.

Dr. Sylvain Vedraine

Alumni Postdoctoral fellow (2013). Plasmonics and modelling

Sylvain Vedraine obtained his PhD under the supervision of Dr. P.Torchio and Pr. F. Flory in 2012 at IN2MP. where he investigated the impact of metallic nanostructures (NSs) on organic solar cells using a variety of experimental approachesand modelling tools with the aim to replace indium tin oxide electrode in solar cells. Sylvain joined the FLL group for his postdoc in 2012 developping news skills in Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy. He investigated the influence of the incident laser polarization and the material utilized for making the TERS tip on the enhancement of electric field. Combining FDTD and Raman spectroscopy, he investigated the spectral shift between the maximum of absorbance and the maximum of the electric field intensity. Since September 2013, Sylvain has been working as assistant Professor at the XLIM institute of the University de Limoges. His current work is focused on transparent electrode for solar cells integrating plasmonic NSs such as silver nanowires, and perovskite solar cells.

Amanda Young

Alumni 4th year student (2009-2010). Photosensitive polymers.

Amanda Young was a 4th year thesis student working on Photoinduced topographical changes in azobenzene thin films. After her BSc in Chemistry at Western, she attended Medical School and completed Internal Medicine residency at University of Ottawa. She returns to Western University in July 2017 to complete a fellowship in Critical Care Medicine.

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