Phone Number:(250) 721-7167
Languages: English, Portuguese
- Investigation of surface processes using electrochemistry and spectroscopy
Imagine a gold cube so small that its cross-width is about 5,000 times thinner than a human hair.
The colour is not the usual yellow we associate with gold because metals at those dimensions have different properties. For instance, their colour changes when molecules stick to their surface.
Chemist Dr. Alex Brolo looks for new ways to fabricate these very small metallic structures and explores their interesting new properties in a variety of applications.
His lab looks at taking these nanostructures and integrating them into biosensors that can detect certain biological markers in the blood, such as those that are associated with leukemia or lung cancer.
Another of his lab's research strengths is the fabrication of nanomaterials that can be incorporated into solar cells capable of more efficient, low-cost electricity generation.
Dr. Brolo is the lead scientist for UVic's arm of the Prometheus Project, a wide-reaching study in advanced materials science and technology led by researchers at Simon Fraser University, and also involving the University of British Columbia and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.
In the classroom, he asks questions and tells jokes to engage his students in a subject that can be difficult to grasp, and not just because it takes place at such a small scale.
While these projects are still years away from clinical or industrial use, Dr. Brolo hopes that soon the fundamental scientific work done in his lab will lead to new technologies that can be used to benefit society.
Dr. Brolo's Faces of UVic Research video: http://youtu.be/YcJCe7DY0Fc
Dr. Brolo and his team are involved in interdisciplinary research in the field of plasmonics. They are studying the optical and spectroscopic properties of gold nanoparticles. The collaboration involves professors from physics (Karen Kavanagh - SFU) and electrical engineering (Reuven Gordon - UVic).
Health Related Research
Dr Brolo and his team are also interested in the application of these nanoparticles for the ultra sensitive analysis of biological materials. This type of sensor could be used in a chip to determine the genetic signature of an organism from a minute amount of DNA.
Countries lived/worked in
Lived and worked in Sao Paulo, Brazil