François Lagugné-Labarthet


Contact Information

Title: Professor
Office: ChB 16
Phone (Office): ext 81006

Physical & Analytical Teaching Division

Materials: Design, Function and Characterization

Microscopic and Spectroscopic Characterization of Nanomaterials

Group Website


Ph.D., Université Bordeaux


Although the past decade has seen rapid developments in the application of nanosized materials such as biological sensors, flexible solar cells, drug delivery carriers, or bit elements in computers, the potential nanoscience holds has yet to be fulfilled. In this context, the characterization of these nano-objects or functionalized surfaces using optical spectroscopy combined with advanced microscopy techniques offers information far beyond that provided by pure imaging techniques as it allows the molecular properties of these materials to be correlated with their molecular structures, sizes and compositions.

Our program focuses on the study of materials and biomaterials organized at the nano- and micro-scales using a combination of scanning probe microscopy together with a variety of high resolution optical microscopy techniques (Raman, Fluorescence). We are also making use of a state-of-the-art nanofabrication Facility at Western (, Director: F.Lagugné-Labarthet) to design, fabricate and characterize original nanostructures with the aim to surpass the diffraction limit of light.

Such an ensemble of complementary approaches are used to (i) probe materials and biomaterials at the hundreds of nanometers scale resolution, (ii) perform ultrasensitive vibrational measurements in conjunction with plasmonic platforms made in our labs to enhance the detection limit through surface enhancement effects (iii) modify surfaces to direct the growth of cells and evaluate the chemical exchanges between them at the single cell level in real-time.

We are always looking for passionate graduate students who have interests in nanoscience and instrumental developments in spectroscopy and microscopy.


  • 364b - Physical Chemistry of Materials
  • 214b - Physical Chemistry for Life Sciences
  • 2274a - Microscopic Physical Chemistry
  • 2384b - Microscopic Phenomena
  • 3364b - Physical Chemistry of Materials
  • 3374a - Quantum Chemistry and Spectroscopy
  • 4490e - Research Project
  • 9764a - Spectroscopy and Microscopy in Materials Research