Charles Cherqui


I first decided to become a scientist while participating in Loyola University Chicago’s undergraduate research program, which ignited in me a passion for theory that has driven me forward to this day. After graduating from Loyola in 2008 with dual degrees in Physics and Mathematics, I went on to pursue a doctorate at the University of New Mexico under the advisement of Professor David H. Dunlap. In my thesis work, I studied how localized surface plasmons could be harnessed to control the dynamics of slow-moving electrons and optical excitations in low dimensional systems. As part of this work, I was awarded a research fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and spent the last two years of my graduate school career working at the Center for Nonlinear Studies (CNLS).

After graduating from the University of New Mexico with a Ph.D. in Physics in 2014, I became a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington in the group of David J. Masiello. While there, I developed a field theory approach to modeling plasmonic problems that was applied to the study of the optical properties of magnetic plasmon oligomers, the use of electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) to study plasmonic systems, the interaction between plasmons and whispering gallery modes, the generation of quantum light in coupled plasmonic systems, single particle absorption spectroscopy, plasmon-enhanced energy transfer, noninvasive cathodoluminescence-activated nanoimaging (CLAIRE), and the role of dielectric substrates in controlling the flow of energy between localized surface plasmons and their environments.

In October of 2017, I joined the group of George Schatz as a postdoctoral researcher. While here, I am eager to continue examining how the unique properties of localized surface plasmons can be harnessed to create the next generation of light-harvesting, biosensing, and photonic applications. In particular, I am curious as to how best model the generation and subsequent transport properties of electrons at the interface between metal nanoparticles and semiconductors. From a wider perspective, I want to understand how the life cycle of localized surface plasmons is affected by their interaction with the surrounding dielectric environment.

I was born in Paris, France but was raised from a young age in Houston, Texas. I speak French and English fluently and know some Spanish. When I’m not doing science, I enjoy spending time with my wife and family, collecting records (primarily Jamaican records from the mid to late 60’s), and making music with computers and synthesizers.

cherqui@northwestern.edu