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Teri Odom Receives Outstanding Young Investigator Award

February 25, 2009 | by Megan Fellman
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Teri W. Odom, associate professor of chemistry and Dow Chemical Company Research Professor in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University, will receive the 2009 Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the Materials Research Society (MRS). The presentation will be made April 15 at the 2009 MRS Spring Meeting in San Francisco.

The award recognizes outstanding, interdisciplinary scientific work in materials research by a young scientist or engineer. The award recipient must also show exceptional promise as a developing leader in the materials area.

Odom's citation reads: "By her creative combination of synthetic procedures, characterization methods and mechanistic understandings, Odom developed the field of nanoscale optics in structured arrays of both nanoparticles and nanoscale holes in metallic materials. Her experimental results and theoretical collaborations demonstrated that methods developed in her lab can indeed prepare nanostructure arrays to filter and propagate plasmonic excitations with unprecedented control and sensitivity."

Odom's research focuses on controlling materials at the 100-nanometer scale and investigating their size- and shape-dependent properties. Specifically, she has developed nanoscale patterning tools that can generate new types of noble metal (plasmonic) structures that can manipulate light at the nanoscale.

Odom, who also holds an appointment in the department of materials science and engineering in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, has pioneered a new area called chemical nanofabrication, which combines chemistry and fabrication to assemble functional nanomaterials.

For example, Odom has recently developed an innovative and inexpensive way of making nanomaterials on a large scale, which has resulted in novel forms of advanced materials that show exceptional and unexpected optical properties. The new fabrication technique, known as soft interference lithography, offers many significant advantages over existing methods, including the ability to scale-up the manufacturing process to produce devices in large quantities.

In addition to her research, Odom is active in public and educational outreach. She has developed research-based laboratory courses in nanoscale science and technology for Northwestern undergraduate and graduate students. These labs are being disseminated internationally through printed publications and the Internet.

Odom has received numerous awards and honors, including an NIH Director's Pioneer Award from the National Institutes of Health; the National Fresenius Award from Phi Lambda Upsilon and the American Chemical Society; the Rohm and Haas New Faculty Award; an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship; a DuPont Young Investigator Grant; a National Science Foundation CAREER Award; a Dow Teacher-Scholar Award; the ExxonMobil Solid State Chemistry Faculty Fellowship; and a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering.
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