• 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

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 where he was awarded the CNRS Bronze medal in 2004. 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 measurements. In 2007 he started as an assistant professor at Western University where he obtained a Canada Research Chair in Nanoscience in 2008-2018. 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. He is the current chair of NanoOntario Inc. (nanoontario.ca)

Lorena Veliz

PhD Student: SERS of Extracellular Vesicles

Lorena is coming from Peru. She completed her Master degree in Chemistry in 2018 at Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. The following years she was working in the research group QNano+ directed by Dr. Betty Galarreta focused on the development and design of new nanosensors to detect different analytes using Localized Surface Plasmon Resonance (LSPR) and Surface Enhancement Raman Spectroscopy (SERS). She joined the FLL group in the Fall 2021 as a PhD student where she will continue studying some techniques as SERS and Nanofabrication for the detection of exosomes and extracellular vesicles. Finally, in her free time she likes cooking, watching movies and playing volleyball and videogames¨

Cédric Lambin

PhD Student: Transition metal dichalcogenide

Cédric comes from Paris, France. He completed his Master in Chemistry at the University of Paris with a specialization on nanosciences and energy. His end-of-studies internship was on inkjet-printing of organic thermoelectric generators on flexible substrates under the supervision of Dr. Giorgio Mattana. Cedric joined Prof. François Lagugné-Labarthet’s group as PhD student in Fall 2021. His research will focus on Raman Enhancement using 2D materials.

Dr. Joachim Jelken

Postdoctoral fellow: Super resolution Raman microscopy

Joachim completed his Master (diploma) in 2015 in Physics at the University of Potsdam under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Dieter Neher. His thesis is focused on the near-field detection and manipulation of surface plasmons as well as the nano-scale optical (near-field) spectroscopy using a scanning near-field optical microscope (SNOM). In 2016 he joined the group of Prof. Dr. Svetlana Santer at the University of Potsdam as a PhD student. He obtained his PhD degree in physics in 2020. His doctoral thesis is based on the understanding of the surface grating formation in azobenzene containing polymer films.

Nina Culum

M. Sc. student: Trapping and detecting exosomes

Nina completed her Honours B.Sc. in Chemistry at the University of Waterloo (April 2019). Her undergraduate thesis incorporated computational and analytical techniques to study the back-isomerisation of photoswitches. Nina joined Prof. Lagugné-Labarthet’s group in September 2019 as a Master’s student. Her research will focus on the design and fabrication of nanohole arrays. Key techniques she will be studying are surface plasmon resonance and surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy. In her free time, she loves reading, watching Netflix, and playing the guitar!

Dr. Leila Mazaheri

Postdoctoral fellow: Wide field Raman Imaging

Leila Mazaheri comes from Tabriz, Iran. Where she attended Tabriz University and completed her B.Sc. and M.Sc. Leila did her B.Sc.in atomic & molecular physics and her master in the field of Photonics working on Generation and studying of nanopatterns on an azo polymer film using pulsed light sources. In 2013, she started her Ph.D. at Queen's University with prof. Jean Michel Nunzi. She worked on self-organization and surface chirality in azo-glass. She graduated in 2018, then continued to work in prof. Jean Michel Nunzi's Lab as a part-time postdoctoral fellow. Since January 2019 she joined Professor Lagugné-Labarthet’s group where she is investigating Raman-Stochastical Optical Reconstruction Microscopy (STORM).

Pooneh Farhat

PhD student: TERS of 2D materials

Pooneh Farhat comes from Tehran, Iran. Pooneh received her B.Sc. degree in Materials Science and Engineering in 2016 from Sharif University of Technology and her M.Sc. degree in Ceramic Engineering in 2018 from Sharif University of Technology, Iran. Her master thesis was on Electrochemical Properties of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathode. She just joined Professor Lagugne-Labarthet’s group as PhD student in winter 2019. Her research will focus on Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy on Transition Metal Dichalcogenides.

Maria Olivia Aviles

PhD student: Tip-Enhanced Surface spectroscopy

Olivia comes from Guayaquil, Ecuador. She did her B.Eng specialized in Chemical Engineering at Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral (ESPOL) in 2015. The following years she became interested in Science with an approach to Materials and Organic Chemistry doing some projects in ESPOL. She just joined Professor Lagugne-Labarthet’s group in Fall 2017.Her research will focus on Tip-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy. She loves to listen to music, dance and learn new things.

Alex Therien

PhD Student: Metamaterials with Nonlinear Optical Properties

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!

Megan Hoffer

Alumni 2020. B. Sc. student: Synthesis of Gold Nanoraspberries for imprint lithography

Megan is from Toronto, Ontario and is currently completing her third year at Western University, where she is pursuing a major in chemistry. She is very excited to be volunteering in the lab doing organic synthesis for the winter term of 2020. Megan is extremely passionate about chemistry and is eager to learn and apply her knowledge in this laboratory.

Ari Forman

Alumni 2019-2020. B. Sc. Thesis student: Studying the Methylation of DNA by Raman spectroscopy

Ari Forman is from Thornhill, Ontario. He is in his fourth year of a B.Sc. (Honors) in Genetics at Western University. His honors thesis is seeking to detect a methylated CpG island in the GSTP1 gene implicated in prostate and breast cancers using Raman spectroscopy and multivariate techniques. He also co-founded a company called Scatr, which uses Raman spectroscopy to detect dangerous opioids such as fentanyl and fentanyl analogs.

Conor Ireland-Adkin

Alumni 2019-2020. Undergraduate thesis student: Exploring plasmon-mediated chemistry

Conor grew up in London, Ontario and continues his studies here as he attends Western University. He's in the final year of his undergraduate program, working towards graduating with a Specialization in Chemistry B. Sc. He joined the FLL group in September 2019 for his 8-month research project, studying plasmon-mediated chemical reactivity.

Usant Kajendirarajah

Alumni 2019. Summer student: Machine Learning and image analysis

Usant was born and raised in the city of North York. He attended Western University where he completed an Honours Specialization in Computer Science and Major in Biology in 2019. He joined Professor Lagugné-Labarthet’s group in the summer of 2019 as a summer student. Work focuses on interdisciplinary studies of integrating Computer Science applications to super-resolution microscopy imaging.

Kara Ly

Alumni 2019. USRA summer student: plasmon-mediated chemistry

Kara comes from Mississauga, Ontario and is currently working towards her B. Sc. in Chemistry. During the summer of 2019, Kara joins Prof. Lagugné–Labarthet and his group for a four-month study related to plasmon-mediated chemical reactivity of diazonium salts. In her spare time, she likes to cook and study Cantonese.

Max Van Brunner

Alumni 2018-2019. Undergraduate thesis student: production of gold nanoparticles

Max is from Thornhill, Ontario. He is currently completing his 4th and final year in Honours B.Sc in Chemistry. He joined the FLL group in September of 2018 to work on his 4th year thesis project, which is titled "Plasmon Mediated Chemical Reactivity".

Dr. Carina Prein

Alumni 2018-2020. Postdoctoral Associate: Investigating cartilage properties by AFM (joint with Frank Baier)

Carina Prein is from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Germany where she completed her PhD in October 2016. Carina joined the lab of Dr. Frank Beier at the department of Physiology and Pharmacology as a postdoctoral associate in 2017. Since beginning of 2018 she is also part of Professor Lagugné-Labarthet’s group where she is investigating structural and biomechanical properties of cartilage by atomic force microscopy. Her overall interest is to understand the onset and progression of osteoarthritis on a nanometer scale.

Danielle McRae

Alumni. 2015-2020. 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. Danielle is also a chief in mastering Electrodynamic calculations!

Sydney Legge

Alumni. 2018-2020. Master Student. Surface functionalization and Polarization modulation spectroscopy.

Sydney Legge is from London, Ontario, where she just completed her Honours B. Sc. in Biochemistry and Chemistry at Western University (April 2018). She joined Professor Lagugné-Labarthet’s group in the summer of 2017 as a NSERC USRA recipient and is presently doing her 2018 summer NSERC-USRA with Prof. Mark Workentin. In september 2018, Sydney started her Master in Chemistry on a joint project led by M.Workentin and F.Lagugne on surface chemistry and functionalization. Sydney is now a Research Associate at Nicoya Life

Lauren Kaufman

Alumni. 2016-2018 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. Lauren obtained her Master in 2018 in the FLL group and is now a PhD student at University of Toronto.

Dr. Gregory Wallace (PhD 2018)

Alumni. 2013-2018 PhD student. Multispectral surface enhanced spectroscopies

Dr. 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 PhD in 2018. 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.He is now a post doctoral fellow at University of Montreal in Jean-Francois Masson' Group

Julien Geneste

Alumni. 2017 Summer Student. High precision moving stage

Julien comes from the Institut Universitaire de Technologie in Bordeaux, France and is specialized in electrical and computer engineering. During the month of August 2017, he created from scratch a high precision moving stage controled by Arduino. This stage is used to move an optical beam splitter and ccd detector between three accurate and user-defined positions. He is now an engineering student in electrical Engineering at ENSEIRB in Bordeaux.

Wenyi Bian

Alumni. 2017 Exchange undergraduate from Soochow University

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

Alumni. 2016-2017 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

Alumni. 2016-2017 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. Keuna is presently a PhD student at university of Toronto

Hayden Foy

Alumni. 2016-2017 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 (PhD 2017)

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 is currently an application scientist at Science For Researcgh (SFR).

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. Farshid is presently an application scientist at Perkin Elmer

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.

Dr. Sarvesh Varma

Alumni. Surface Biopatterning (Coop 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 MIT for graduate school, where he joined the Biological Microtechnology and BioMEMS group under the guidance of Prof. Joel Voldman. Here, he completed his PhD in the area of genetically engineered cell-based sensors for investigating physiologic and pathologic phenomenon within microsystems. He is presently a postdoc at Harvard University

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.

Our Latest Ramblings.

free counters