Lasse Jensen, assistant professor of chemistry at Penn State, has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER award is NSF's most prestigious award in support of junior faculty members who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent teaching and the integration of education and research. The award provides five years of financial support.
Jensen's research focuses on developing new theoretical and computational tools for addressing important questions relevant to the optical spectroscopy of biological and nano-systems. He is particularly interested in understanding how enhanced Raman spectroscopy -- which uses visible light to reveal the structural properties, local interactions, and vibration frequencies of a molecule -- can selectively probe a specific subsystem of a more complex system.
Jensen studies surface-enhanced Raman scattering, in which a metallic nanostructure can amplify the Raman signal of molecules near the surface of the metal over a million times. He has used theoretical methods to gain a microscopic understanding of such phenomena. This understanding has provided detailed information not directly available from experiments. It also helps to guide the direction of future experiments. More information available at http://www.science.psu.edu/news-and-events/2010-news/Jensen1-2010 online.
Jensen was awarded an International Conference of Computational Methods in Sciences and Engineering (ICCMSE) young scientist prize in 2005 and an Internalization Fellowship from the Danish Research Agency from 2000 to 2004.
Prior to joining Penn State in June 2007 as an assistant professor of chemistry, Jensen was a research associate at Northwestern University from 2004 to 2007. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark in 1998 and 2000, respectively, and a doctorate in chemistry at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen in The Netherlands in 2004.