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Jennifer S. Shumaker-Parry



B.S. University of South Dakota, 1995
Ph.D. University of Washington, 2002
NSF Mathematical and Physical Sciences Distinguished International Postdoctoral Research Fellow (MPS-DRF), Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany, 2003-2004


Phone: (801) 585-1434

Office: 2424 TBBC


Research Group


Jennifer Shumaker-Parry is a member of: Interfacial and Bioanalytical Chemistry (IBAC)Nano Institute of Utah, Nanotechnology Training Program, and NSF Center for Chemical Innovation: Chemistry at the Space Time Limit (CaSTL)


  • NSF CAREER Award, 2009
  • ACS PROGRESS/Dreyfus Lectureship, 2008
  • ADVANCE Young Scientist Lecturer, University of Arizona, 2008
  • NSF MPS Distinguished International Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, 2003
  • National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training (IGERT) Fellowship, 2000
  • University of Washington Center for Nanotechnology Graduate Fellowship, 1999
  • Lloyd and Florence West Graduate Student Fellowship, 1999

Research Interests


Our research efforts are focused on the development of plasmonic structures and nanoparticle assemblies with tunable optical properties and surface plasmon resonance-based sensing and spectroscopy platforms, particularly for biomolecule analysis. Our projects can be divided into three main areas:

  • Tunable plasmon-based sensing and spectroscopy platforms based on structural control and organized nanoparticle assembly
  • Solution-based synthesis of metal nanoparticles using novel reducing agents that serve dual roles and provide additional control of materials properties
  • Label-free, high-throughput bioassays based on surface plasmon resonance microscopy

The broad nature of the multi-disciplinary research requires methods and tools from analytical chemistry, surface chemistry, biochemistry, materials science, nano\microfabrication, optics, spectroscopy, and microscopy. In addition to our focus on sensing and spectroscopy, our research will impact many areas of science and engineering using localized and propagating plasmons, including micro- and nano-scale device fabrication, nano-scale microscopy, nanolithography, solar energy conversion, and sensor development.

Designer plasmonic systems with tunable optical properties

We are developing novel, broadly-applicable methods to tailor and exploit the optical properties of metal structures and nanoparticles in order to develop tunable sensing and spectroscopy platforms. The designer plasmon-active systems have unique optical properties that may be tailored through control of individual structure fabrication and spatially-controlled surface chemistry. The research approaches focus on the fabrication and optical characterization of well-defined, irregularly-shaped metal structures and the development of spatially-controlled surface functionalization methods to build multi-particle assemblies. The long term goal is to use the fundamental understanding of the correlation of optical properties with metal structure shape and assembly as a basis for tailoring the plasmonic systems for sensing and spectroscopy applications.

Novel approaches for synthesis of metal nanoparticles

In order to simplify functionalization of nanoparticles and aid application in aqueous-based solutions, we are developing new synthetic approaches. For example, we have developed a simple, inexpensive synthesis of gold and silver nanoparticles using a polymer for reduction of the metal salt and stabilization of the particles once formed. The method, based on a single step process that takes place in water, produces metal nanoparticles that are dispersed within the aqueous solution. Other synthetic approaches are based on novel reducing agents that serve dual roles and provide control of the properties of the materials.

SPR microscopy for array-based analysis of biomolecule interactions

Molecular recognition plays a central role in biology by controlling cellular processes such as enzymatic catalysis, transport, regulation and communication. We are developing and applying high-throughput sensing methods based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) to study molecular recognition between biomolecules. SPR-based sensing provides real-time, quantitative analysis of biomolecule interactions (e.g., protein-DNA, protein-protein, protein-vesicle) without the need for labels. Detailed information about the strength and specificity of biomolecule interactions impacts medical research, diagnostics, drug discovery and fundamental molecular biology studies. We are working with Prof. Bruce Gale’s group in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah to integrate a new microfluidics system with our SPR microscope. In the current configuration, the system provides 48 separate flow channels for in situ biomolecule immobilization and subsequent high-throughput biomolecule interaction analysis. In situ biomolecule immobilization and label-free, real-time kinetic analysis of biomolecule interactions potentially will impact the field of proteomics and extend high-throughput analysis to more biomimetic systems involving membrane-like systems.

Selected Publications

  • Sardar, R.; Shumaker-Parry, J.S., “Spectroscopic and Microscopic Investigation of Gold Nanoparticle Formation: Ligand and Temperature Effects on Rate and Particle Size,” J. Am. Chem. Soc.2011, 133:8179-8190.
  • Bukasov, R.; Ali, T.; Nordlander, P.; Shumaker-Parry, J.S., “Probing the Plasmonic Near-Field of Gold Nanocrescent Structures,” ACSNano2010, 4:6639-6650.
  • Sardar, R.; Shem, P.M.; Pecchia-Bekkum, C.; Bjorge, N.S.; Shumaker-Parry, J.S., “Single-step Generation of Fluorophore-encapsulated Gold Nanoparticle Core-shell Materials,” Nanotechnology2010, 21:345603-11.
  • Shem, P.M.; Sardar, R.; Shumaker-Parry, J.S., “One-Step Synthesis of Phosphine-Stabilized Gold Nanoparticles Using the Mild Reducing Agent 9-BBN,” Langmuir2009, 25:13279-13283.
  • Sardar, R.; Shumaker-Parry, J. S. “9-BBN Induced Synthesis of Nearly Monodisperse ω-Functionalized Alkylthiols Stabilized Gold Nanoparticles,” Chem. Mater.2009, 21, 1167-1169.
  • Bukasov, R.; Shumaker-Parry, J.S. “Silver Nanocrescents with Infrared Plasmonic Properties as Tunable Substrates for Surface Enhanced Infrared Absorbance Spectroscopy,” Anal. Chem. 2009, 81, 4531-4535.
  • Liu, J.; Eddings, M. A.; Eddings, M.; Miles, A. R.; Bukasov, R.; Gale, B. K.; Shumaker-Parry, J. S. “In Situ Microarray Fabrication and Analysis Using a Microfluidic Flow Cell Array Integrated with Surface Plasmon Resonance Microscopy,” Anal. Chem.2009, 81, 4296-4301.
  • Sardar, R.; Bjorge, N. S.; Shumaker-Parry, J. S. “pH-Controlled Assemblies of Polymeric Amine-Stabilized Gold Nanoparticles,” Macromolecules2008, 41, 4347-4352.
  • Sardar, R.; Shumaker-Parry, J. S.”Asymmetrically-Functionalized Nanoparticles Organized in One-Dimensional Chains,” Nano Letters2008, 8, 731-736.
  • Sardar, R.; Park, J.-W., Shumaker-Parry, J. S. “Polymer-Induced Synthesis of Stable Gold and Silver Nanoparticles and Subsequent Ligand Exchange in Water,” Langmuir2007, 23, 11883-11889.
  • Sardar, R.; Heap, T.; Shumaker-Parry, J. S. “Versatile Solid Phase Synthesis of Gold Nanoparticle Dimers Using an Asymmetric Functionalization Approach,” J. Am. Chem. Soc.2007, 129, 5356-5357.
  • Bukasov, R.; Shumaker-Parry, J. S., “Highly-Tunable Infrared Extinction Properties of Gold Nanocrescents,” Nano Lett.2007, 7, 1113-1118.
Last Updated: 11/14/18