Leading Chemistry Professor with Advanced Research Portfolio Joins NYUAD Faculty

Students take Associate Professor of Chemistry Pance Naumov's Foundations of Science class at NYU Abu Dhabi.

Renowned chemistry academic Panče Naumov has joined New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) faculty as an Associate Professor of Chemistry. Naumov, previously an Associate Professor at Osaka University in Japan, has participated in a number of leading academic research projects in the field of structural chemistry, and most recently has been involved in a project with the potential to significantly improve the capacity and sensitivity of sensor technology.

Naumov co-authored the recent research paper "Making the Golden Connection: Reversible Mechanochemical and Vapochemical Switching of Luminescence from Bimetallic Gold―Silver Clusters Associated through Aurophilic Interactions," published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, which found new possibilities within the process of control of light emission from solid-state materials.

Strongly luminescent materials have the capability to emit visible light when excited. The color of the emitted light is determined by the extent of molecular aggregation. This depends on changes in the material's physical environment and can be controlled, for example, through the application of external mechanical pressure or chemical solvent. This form of energy transfer and light emission is an important function in developing sensing applications, such as pressure sensors or vapor detection sensors.

Naumov and his fellow researchers managed to reassemble bimetallic clusters that consist of gold and silver atoms, through altering bonds between the gold atoms, to transform the color of luminescence of the material. The research team demonstrated the capability of simple and effective switching between green-emitting monomer clusters and red-emitting polymer clusters, finding that this process is not a direct color switch but transitions through other intermediate light-emission stages. In this process, the research team managed to trap a yellow light emission form of bimetallic gold and silver clusters that previously had only produced green or red light.

"By isolating a new color of light emission, a much wider set of applications for sensor detection is possible and the capacity of information storage has been improved through an increased number of color combinations," Naumov said.

"This discovery has the potential to create better possibilities for vapor sensing for the purposes of security, or for material shock sensors that are sensitive to pressure."

Fabio Piano, Provost of NYUAD, said: "As the ‘World’s Honors College‘ it has been of immense importance for NYUAD to establish an exceptional faculty body consisting of professors with both impressive teaching and research credentials. As we continue to grow our research capabilities, NYUAD is increasingly playing a role in making Abu Dhabi a global center for thought leadership and cutting-edge research."

Fellow co-authors of the paper were: Tania Lasanta, M. Elena Olmos, and José M. López-de-Luzuriaga from Universidad de la Rioja in Spain; and Antonio Laguna from Universidad de Zaragoza in Spain.