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  • Professor Martin Moskovits
    03/29/18 -
    9:45 AM to 11:00 AM

    Moscowitz Memorial Lecture: Professor Martin Moskovits

    Albert J. Moscowitz Memorial Lecture

Professor Moskovits has degrees in physics and chemistry from the University of Toronto. He co-founded OHM Distributers and manufacturers Ltd., an electronics company in Toronto in 1966 which was sold in 1969. He returned to the University of Toronto to complete a PhD in chemical physics (1971). From 1971-73 he was employed as a materials scientist by Alcan Research and Development in Kingston Ontario. He returned to take up a faculty position in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Toronto. Promoted to professor in 1982, he was Chair of that department (1993-1999).

In 2000 he moved to UCSB as Worster Dean of Science. From 2007-2010 he was Chief Technology Officer of API Technologies in NY; and from 2011-2012 Provost at the City College of New York. In 2008 he co-founded Spectra Fluidics, a company that combines SERS with microfluidics to develop high-sensitivity molecular sensing.

Professor Moskovits is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; Fellow of the Optical Society of America; Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; former member, and past Vice Chair of the US Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee 2001-2010. He was Guggenheim Fellow in 1987; 1993 Gerhard Herzberg Award of the Spectroscopy Society of Canada; 1993 Royal Society of Chemistry (London) award in Surface and Colloid Science; 1995 Johannes Marcus Marci Medal of the Czech Spectroscopy Society; 2008 NanoTech Briefs, Nano 50 Innovator award; 2010 Ellis Lippincott Award of the Optical Society of America.


The research carried out in Professor Moskovits’ group falls into two broad categories: (i) plasmonics and surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), and (ii) nanowire synthesis and nanowire-based sensing. In plasmonics the researchers have two major goals: the first is to create plasmonic analogs of photovoltaics and photosynthetic systems. Research work with semiconductor nanowires attempts to understand the transduction process that converts chemical events at the surface of nanowires, and especially nanowires functionalized with catalytic nanoparticles, to the electrical conductivity of the nanowire. His group’s recent draws a great deal of its inspiration from biomimetics, as researchers attempt to fabricate nano-electronic analogs of olfaction, both by creating nanowire-array-based electronic nose equivalents and multi-receptor SERS arrays that use the very highly sensitive character of SERS to look at the overall spectroscopic changes produced by small molecules interacting with aptamers linking plasmonic nanoparticles, then using data analysis paradigms to connect the observed changes to a specific analyte, in analogy to the manner in which the mammalian cognitive apparatus relates the pattern of the activation of the olfactory receptors with a given fragrance.

Albert J. Moscowitz Memorial Lectureship

The Albert J. Moscowitz Memorial Lectureship in Chemistry was established by friends and colleagues of Professor Albert J. Moscowitz (1929-1996) to honor his many contributions to molecular spectroscopy. He was known for his research on the interpretation of optical rotation and circular dichroism spectra in terms of the structures of chiral molecules. In collaboration with colleagues in the medical sciences, he developed important applications of his methods to biomedical systems. Throughout his career, Moscowitz held numerous visiting professorships at other universities, and served on the editorial boards of the leading journals in chemical physics. His work was honored by election as Foreign Member of the Danish Royal Academy of Sciences and Letters, and as a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Past Albert J. Moscowitz lecturers include Bruce Berne, Columbia University (2000), R. Stephen Berry, University of Chicago (1998), Jean-Luc Bredas, University of Arizona (2002), Mike Duncan, University of Georgia (2010), Crim F. Fleming, University of Wisconsin (2006), C. Daniel Frisbie, University of Minnesota (1999), Mike Frisch, Gaussian (2008), Anthony Legon, University of Bristol (2013), Marsha Lester, University of Pennsylvania (2011), Frank Neese, Max-Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (2014), Stuart Rice, University of Chicago (2000), Peter Rossky, University of Chicago (2006), Giacinto Scoles, University of Princeton (2004), Benjamin Schwartz, University of California, Los Angeles (2007), Hirata So, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (2011), Walter Thiel, Max Plank Institute, Muelhiem (2002), Zhen-Gang Wang, CalTech (2014), Georg Kresse, University of Vienna (2016), and Emily A. Carter, Princeton University (2017).

  • Event Details

    Location: 331 Smith Hall
    Host: Professor Renee Frontiera
    • Professor Martin Moskovits
    • Martin Moskovits
    • Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry
    • University of California, Santa Barbara