March 6 - 10, 2016
Georgia World Congress Center
Atlanta, GA USA

Wallace H. Coulter Lecture.

“How Optical Single-Molecule Detection in Solids Led to Super-Resolution Nanoscopy in Cells and Beyond”.

2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Recipient – W.E. Moerner

Pittcon 2016 Coulter Lecture

Pittcon is pleased to announce that 2014 Nobel Laureate Prof. W.E Moerner, the Harry S. Mosher Professor in Chemistry at Stanford University, will give the Wallace H. Coulter Lecture at Pittcon 2016.

Lecture Title
“How Optical Single-Molecule Detection in Solids Led to Super-Resolution Nanoscopy in Cells and Beyond”

Dr. Moerner’s lecture will focus on his research in physical chemistry and chemical physics of single molecules, single-molecule biophysics, super-resolution imaging and tracking in cells, and trapping of single molecules in solution.

Lecture Abstract


More than 25 years ago, low temperature experiments aimed at establishing the ultimate limits to optical storage in solids led to the first optical detection and spectroscopy of a single molecule in the condensed phase. At this unexplored ultimate limit, many surprises occurred where single molecules showed both spontaneous changes (blinking) and light-driven control of emission, properties that were also observed in 1997 at room temperature with single green fluorescent protein variants. In 2006, PALM and subsequent approaches showed that the optical diffraction limit of ~200 nm can be circumvented to achieve super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, or nanoscopy, with relatively nonperturbative visible light. Essential to this is the combination of single-molecule fluorescence imaging with active control of the emitting concentration and sequential localization of single fluorophores decorating a structure. Super-resolution microscopy has opened up a new frontier in which biological structures and behavior can be observed in live cells with resolutions down to 20-40 nm and below. Examples range from protein superstructures in bacteria to bands in actin filaments to details of the shapes of amyloid fibrils and much more. Current methods development research addresses ways to extract more information from each single molecule such as 3D position and orientation, in thick cells. Still, it is worth noting that in spite of all the focus on super-resolution, even in the “conventional” single-molecule tracking regime where the motions of individual biomolecules are recorded in solution or in cells rather than the shapes of extended structures, much can still be learned about biological processes.

Meet the Nobel Prize Winner


W. E. (William Esco) Moerner, the Harry S. Mosher Professor of Chemistry and Professor, by courtesy, of Applied Physics at Stanford University, conducts research in physical chemistry and chemical physics of single molecules, single-molecule biophysics, super-resolution imaging and tracking in cells, and trapping of single molecules in solution.

His interests span methods of precise quantitation of single molecule properties, to strategies for three-dimensional imaging and tracking of single molecules, to applications of single-molecule measurements to understand biological processes in cells, to observations of the photodynamics of single photosynthetic proteins and enzymes.

He has been elected Fellow/Member of the NAS, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, AAAS, ACS, APS, and OSA. Major awards include the Earle K. Plyler Prize for Molecular Spectroscopy, the Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics, the Pittsburgh Spectroscopy Award, the Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry, the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, and the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Lecture Info

Sunday, March 6
5:00 PM


Sidney Marcus Auditorium
Georgia World Congress Center


Mixer and poster session to
immediately follow the lecture.

Program Links




NOVA Profile: Naomi Halas

Nanotechnologist Naomi Halas of Rice University has invented tiny structures called “gold nanoshells,” which may someday help treat tumors.

Read Abstract & Biography

Read Abstract

Plasmonics: Shedding Light on Cross-Cutting Science and Technologies

Metallic nanoparticles, used since antiquity to impart intense and vibrant color into materials, have more recently become a central tool in the nanoscale manipulation of light across a range of chemical sciences and engineering applications. This interest has led to a virtual explosion of new types of metal-based nanoparticles and nanostructures of various shapes and compositions, and has given rise to new strategies to harvest, control, and manipulate light based on these structures and their properties. By assembling metallic nanoparticles into useful building blocks, a striking parallel between the plasmons of these structures and wave functions of simple quantum systems is universally observed. [1] Clusters of metallic nanoparticles behave like coupled oscillators or antennas, introducing effects characteristic of systems as diverse as radio frequency transmitters and coupled pendulums into light-driven nanoscale structures. [2] Their unique light-controlling properties can be put to use in a multitude of ways: for detecting single molecules and following chemical reactions, for generation of hot electrons for color-specific photodetection[3] and photocatalysis,[4] and most recently, for high-efficiency solar steam generation poised to tackle our planet’s energy and sustainability challenges.[5]

[1] E. M. Prodan, C. Radloff, N. J. Halas and P. Nordlander, Science 302, 419-422 (2003).
[2] J. A. Fan, K. Bao, J. Bao, R. Bardhan, N. J. Halas, V. N. Manoharan, P. Nordlander, G. Shvets, and F. Capasso, Science 328, 1135-8 (2010).
[3] M. W. Knight, H. Sobhani, P. Nordlander, and N. J. Halas, Science 332, 702-4 (2011).
[4] Shaunak Mukherjee, Florian Libisch, Nicholas Large, Oara Neumann, Lisa V. Brown, Jin Cheng, Britt Lassiter, Emily A. Carter, Peter Nordlander, and Naomi J. Halas, Nano Letters 13, 240-247 (2012).
[5] O. Neumann, A. S. Urban, J. Day, S. Lal, P. Nordlander, and N. J. Halas, ACS Nano 7, 42-49 (2013).

Naomi Halas’s Biography

Naomi Halas is a professor at Rice University and the founding director of the Rice Laboratory for Nanophotonics. She is a pioneering researcher in the field of plasmonics, creating the concept of the “tunable plasmon” and inventing a family of nanoparticles with resonances spanning the visible and infrared regions of the spectrum. Halas pursues fundamental studies of coupled plasmonic systems, and applications of plasmonics in biomedicine, optoelectronics, chemical sensing, photocatalysis, and solar energy, with ‘solar steam’ technology. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Naomi Halas’s Website
Halas Research Group:





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