Beijing Symposium 2016 on Chemical Reactions under External Fields – Nanoplasmonics and Nanospectroscopy was held in Xiamen, April 2-5, 2016

Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is the resonant collective oscillation of free electrons of metal nanostructure under the excitation of light. As a result of the SPR effect, metal nanostructures show unique properties, such as enhanced absorption and scattering in visible region and the enhanced localized electric field. This effect has been widely used in surface-enhanced spectroscopy, light waveguide, analysis, sensors, and etc. In addition, SPR effect was found to not only promote the chemical reaction, change the reaction pathway and mechanism, but also realize some reactions that are not accomplishable under conventional chemical reaction conditions. However, it is still controversial on the understanding of its fundamental processes, especially how SPR induces and promotes chemical reactions. Therefore, it is timely to bring top scientists in physics, chemistry and material sciences together to discuss the frontier of nanoplasmonics and nanospectroscopy from the aspects of fundamental physics, methodology, and practical applications etc. Thereby, a platform can be built to promote in-depth communication and collaboration between the young Chinese scholars and their international partners.

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Addressing the above request, Beijing Symposium 2016 on Chemical Reactions under External Fields–Nanoplasmonics and Nanospectroscopy, CRUEF 2016, was held on April 2-5, 2016. Beijing Symposium is a new format of conference and was proposed by the Department of Chemical Sciences of NSFC following the new and fast development of the chemical sciences in China. It aims to encourage the young Chinese scholars to stand at the frontier of sciences and carry out works with unique Chinese stamp and international impact, and to promote international academic exchange and collaboration. It is hoped that each Beijing Symposium meeting can be developed to be a series conference that is initiated and organized by Chinese young scholars. This symposium right belongs to Beijing Symposium 2016 series.   

Prof. Bin Ren, chairman of this symposium, hosted the opening ceremony. Prof. Junlin Yang gave an opening speech on behalf of the Chemistry Division III of NSFC, and Prof. Feixue Gao from NSFC attended the symposium. Over 40 scientists from the US, UK, France, Italy, Germany, Australia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, India, Mainland China, and Hong Kong, including Prof. Jeremy Baumberg (Fellow of the Royal Society of the United Kingdom) and Prof. Zhongqun Tian (member of Chinese Academy of Science), participated in the symposium. Participants vigorously discussed on the chemical reactions under external fields, including light, SPR, electrochemistry and mechanical force as well as presented techniques that are capable of in situ characterization of the chemical processes with a high spatial and temporal resolution, and related theoretical methods. The symposium arranged 3 keynote talks, 28 invited talks, 1 poster flash talk (including 14 posters). Prof. Martin Moskovits, an authority of surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy (SERS), gave a 3-hours tutorial lecture on the afternoon of April 2 and comprehensively introduced the history and important problems associated with SERS and SPR.

To ensure effective academic exchange, ample time was left for discussion during the symposium. In addition, the two-hour retreats every afternoon, including Xiamen Botanic Garden hiking and teahouse networking, further promoted the communication and network among participants. Therefore, the participants can extend their scientific discussions from the meeting room, and seek for prospective collaborations, while enjoy the beautiful Chinese view and culture. The wonderful academic atmosphere attracted Prof. Konstantin Novoselov, the 2010 Nobel Laureate of Physics to the conference site and participated the discussion during poster session. The committee of CRUEF 2016 selected four best posters.

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All participants agreed that the field of chemical reactions under external fields (especially SPR) was an important frontier of chemistry and it is necessary to develop this symposium into a series conference. After the symposium, Prof. Kei Murakoshi from Japan replied “I deeply appreciate giving me a chance to attend nice workshop. I learnt much about the activities in this field. Active discussions with young researchers including brilliant Chinese students were also nice.” Prof. Qinghua Xu from Singapore expressed his gratitude to the organizers in email“I would say this is the most useful conference that I have ever attended so far. I have learned a lot from speakers of this conference.”Dr. Emiliano Cortes from Imperial College of UK responded “I want to acknowledge you once more for such an amazing time and conference in Xiamen. It was a great pleasure for me to know all of you and the amazing things you are doing. I think it was one of the most fascinating conferences ever attended.”Prof. Yi Luo from University of Science and Technology of China mentioned“I have personally enjoyed it very much and already look forward to the next one.” 

This symposium was sponsored by the Department of Chemical Sciences of NSFC, and was organized by the State Key Laboratory of Physical Chemistry of Solid surface (PCOSS), College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemistry for Energetic Materials (i-ChEM) of Xiamen University. The symposium also received support from Renishaw, Horiba JY, Hwa-TECH and NT-MDT.