Domenico Pacifici joined Brown University in 2009 as an assistant professor in the School of Engineering. Professor Pacifici received his M.Sc. (2000) and Ph.D. (2004) in Physics, both summa cum laude, from the University of Catania in Italy, where he studied the optical, structural and electrical properties of silicon quantum dots and their interaction with rare-earth ions for a silicon-based Microphotonics.
In 2004 he received an award from STMicroelectronics, a global leader in electronics and semiconductor manufacturing, for the best PhD thesis performed in collaboration with industry. Prior to joining Brown, he spent four years as a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Applied Physics at the California Institute of Technology.
Professor Pacifici and his research group are currently leading research projects involving nanostructured materials to manipulate light and surface plasmons for integrated optical communication, sensing and energy-harvesting applications.
Recently, the Pacifici Group has achieved the following results:
(1) plasmonic concentrators for broad-band enhanced absorption in ultra-thin film solar cells;
(2) germanium quantum dot photodetectors with responsivity and internal quantum efficiency rivaling conventional silicon-based technologies;
(3) high-throughput biochemical sensors using plasmonic interferometers integrated on-chip for detection of extremely low glucose and insulin concentrations, typically found in saliva, for non-invasive glucose screening;
(4) plasmonic interferometry to measure the refractive index dispersion of dielectric materials;
(5) measurement of subwavelength coherence length of electromagnetic fields with plasmonic interferometers;
(6) modulation of the fluorescence emission through nano-apertures with plasmonic interferometry for sensing;
(7) nano-imprinted silicon nanowire solar cells with high internal quantum efficiency;
(8) estimate of the optical bandgap in amorphous germanium quantum wells.