An informal news log of notable events and accomplishments in the WilsonLab

  • 2018-01-19 – The WilsonLab is thrilled to introduce our inaugural Master Of Science, Minhal Hasham, as his thesis on Two-Colour Fluorescence Intermittency Spectroscopy: Shedding Light on Blinking in Semiconductor Nanocrystals is formally accepted. Minhal will go down in the history books as the originator of single-molecule spectroscopies in our lab, and will stick around as a research assistant for a few months to wrap up a manuscript before starting a doctorate in the fall. Congratulations!


  • 2017-12-15 – Continuing a holiday tradition, the WilsonLab makes a feuerzangenbowle, and welcomes fellow 2nd-floor-ians to share in some festive Gemütlichkeit!
  • 2017-12-11 – We’re thrilled to be back into our synthetic lab on time after a three-weak hiatus for HVAC renovations as part of the University’s federally-funded LIFT project. When completed, the renovations in the Chemistry Department alone are projected to save the university nearly a million dollars each year in heating/cooling costs by cutting back on wasteful air exhaust from the previous, 60’s-vintage ventilation system …and we ended up with a bonus fumehood to boot!
  • 2017-11-04 – The WilsonLab rolls up the 401 en masse to attend the 33rd Waterloo Symposium on Chemical Physics, and thrills to tales of spectroscopy, ultrafast electron diffraction, mass spectrometry, and computational chemistry. Particular congratulations to Karen & Ruvim for contributing excellent talks!
  • 2017-10-15 – Prof. Wilson in Vancouver to give research and graduate recruitment talks to interested students at UBC and SFU. Thanks again to Caitlyn and Darien for hosting.
  • 2017-09-15 – The WilsonLab is thrilled to officially welcome three new members: two familiar faces, as Christian Imperiale and Philip Sohn formally join us as graduate students, and new recruit Titania Yan!
  • 2017-08-16 – Karen leads the WilsonLabbers in teaching 50 local high schools students about renewable energy as part of the Science Unlimited Program. We look forward to welcoming another talented group of local high school students next year!
    WilsonLabbers Minhal and Karen help two high-school--aged women weigh materials in a chemistry lab.
    Minhal & Christian help Science Unlimited campers assemble a working solar cell—using freshly-squeezed raspberry juice as the electronically active dye! ‘Organic’ chemistry?
  • 2017-08-09 – Prof. Wilson gives an invited talk at SPIE Optics + Photonics in San Diego.
  • 2017-07-27 – Prof. Wilson hosts the inaugural WilsonLab Official BBQ and Talent Show. Summertime evenings are lovely, halloumi is delicious, and we’ll keep working on our (non-scientific) talents…
  • 2017-07-06 – Philip travels to Nakhon Pathom, Thailand to coach the Canadian team in the 49th International Chemistry Olympiad Congratulations to all of the competitors!
  • 2017-07-04 – Perhaps fittingly for the 4th of July, the WilsonLab welcomes Ruvim Ginzburg as a research assistant—fresh from his undergraduate work with the Engel Group at the University of Chicago.
  • 2017-07-04 – Congratulations to Karen, who wins the Martin Moskovits Graduate Scholarship in Science and Technology in recognition of her exceptional research potential in Physical Chemistry! This Queen Elizabeth II GSST is appropriately named after Prof. Moskovits, a distinguished UofT Chemistry alumnus and former departmental chair who has made enormous contributions to the study of light-matter interactions—not least of which his foundational paper proposing that surface plasmons were responsible for anomalous Raman signals—the phenomenon at the root of SERS.
  • 2017-06-30 – WilsonLabbers celebrate Mark’s 1st ‘Prof-iversary’ with cake, and a new group logo! I like turtles!
  • 2017-06-19 – The WilsonLab attends Optical Probes 2017 in Quebec City. In addition to many scientific conversation and a memorable conference banquet, Mark gives an invited talk, and Karen, Philip, and Minhal present posters—Minhal brings home the J. Mat. Chem. C poster prize!
    Four scientists in eveningwear posing in front of the alter in the chapel of a Catholic seminary.
    WilsonLab Style at the Optical Probes banquet in Quebec City—this summer’s must-have accessory is a nametag.
  • 2017-06-08 – Prof. Wilson in Ottawa to give an invited presentation at Photonics North.
  • 2017-05-29 – WilsonLabbers represent at the Canadian Society of Chemistry’s 100th Annual Conference & Exhibition. Congratulations to Minhal and Karen for strong poster presentations, and to Philippe for giving the group’s first student talk!
  • 2017-05-17 – WilsonLab field trip out to UTM to visit the Gradinaru and Barzda labs. A beautiful day, a tolerable shuttle bus, and great interactions with fellow spectroscopists!
  • 2017-05-08 – Incoming graduate student Christian Imperiale joins the lab for a summer of collaborative research with the Seferos Group. Welcome!
  • 2017-04-05 – Trevor Plint, a graduate student from the Bender Lab, presents to the group on the unusual wide-band electroluminescence from doped, and co-doped small-molecule organic LEDs based on boron sub-phthalocyanine moieties.
  • 2017-03-11 – Team WilsonLab shows off their signature aggressive sweeping style at the ChemClub bonspiel.
    Aggressive sweepers on a curling rink
    Team WilsonLab demonstrating that a draw to bite the button only requires a precision of 297,931,280 nanometers, easy peasy.
  • 2017-03-07 – Prof. Wilson is awarded $250,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation John R. Evans Leaders Fund. This funding will support the purchase of key laboratory infrastructure: our air-free thin-film deposition system, and tools for ultrafast spectroscopy.
  • 2017-03-04 – The WilsonLab participates in the Department’s visit weekend for prospective graduate students.
    Graduate students present poster describing our research to prospective students.
    Philippe, Karen & Minhal present our poster at the GSW
  • 2017-02-28 – After a 10-day whirlwind, renovations/repainting on LM241 are complete—enjoy a shinier group room!
  • 2017-02-27 – Fluorescence detected from a film of quantum dots using our new, home-built epifluorescence microscope—congrats Minhal & Karen!
  • 2017-02-23 – Mark presents a discussion of ‘Uncertainty & Chaos: From Quantum Mechanics to Global issues” at the STEMinism2017—a one-day conference organized by local secondary school students.
  • 2017-02-22 – Carmen Nguyen, a graduate student from Zhenghong Lu’s research group, presents to the group on the unusual emission from the interfaces in small-molecule organic light-emitting diodes.
  • 2017-02-15 – Maria José Gonzalez, a post-doc in Mitch Winnik’s group, presents to the group on the use of FRET-based molecular rules to study the stability and inter-diffusion of the molecules in polymeric nanoparticles.
    Fume hood
    Philippe & Philip’s rebuilt hood following our move to our renovated, permanent WetLab.
  • 2017-02-02 – Philippe & Philip finish re-building their Schlenk line following the move from our temporary lab space. Kudos for hitting 18mTorr without LN2!
  • 2017-01-30 – Gloveboxes for air-free wet chemistry and solution-processing commissioned in the WetLab. Sub-ppm O2/H2O is pretty swell…
    Wilsonlab Wetbox
    LC Technologies glovebox for wet chemistry commissioned in the WilsonLab.
  • 2017-01-11 – Mark gives a colloquium to the Department of Chemical & Physical Sciences at the University of Toronto Mississauga on ‘Solid-state organic/nanocrystal films for infrared↔visible photon conversion via excitonics’
  • 2017-01-10 – Renovations on the LM240 & LM239 complete up to a punch list—huzzah for our new wetlab & optics anteroom!


  • 2016-12-16 – Minhal & Karen start construction of the epifluorescence microscope for single-molecule/nanocrystal/aggregate fluorescence studies. It begins!

    Optomechanical components on an optical table
    Serried ranks of optomechanics, though ThorLabs LabSnacks apparently don’t happen in Canada…
  • 2012-12-16 – Official WilsonLab feuerzangenbowle. A delicious, if unpronounceable, tradition…
  • 2016-11-18 – New HVAC system commissioned in Spectroscopy Lab. Time for a clean-up party in LM043. Cue the laser light show…
  • 2016-11-17 – We finally remember to take a group photo
  • 2016-11-05 – Mark presents at the 32nd Waterloo Chemical Physics Symposium
  • 2016-11-03 – Group tour of some of Dwayne Miller’s ultrafast spectroscopy labs courtesy of Olivier Paré-Labrosse. Thanks!
  • 2016-10-19 – Mark attends the Massey College Science Policy Symposium, and joins the panel on ‘Supporting Early Career Researchers’
  • 2016-10-17 – Group beers for Game 3 of the ALCS. Unfortunately, despite Trevor Bauer’s drone-injured finger only lasting two outs, the Jays still can’t buy a hit off of Cleveland’s cast-of-thousands pitching staff…
  • 2016-10-14 – Karen attends the local OSA/SPIE graduate symposium.
  • 2016-09-21 – It’s official! Philippe, Karen & Minhal join the group as graduate students—welcome!
  • 2016-08-23 – Philip & Philippe confirm excitonic absorption features by absorption spectroscopy. We have nanocrystals!
  • 2016-08-12 – Philip & Mark successfully synthesize black sludge out of lead oleate and diphenylthiourea. Could be quantum dots?
  • 2016-08-08 – First light in the temporary lab—Philippe and Mark build a photoluminescence setup around lock-in detection.

    Green laser light
    First (coherent) photons!
  • 2016-08-05 – Philip & Philippe finish building our first Schlenk line.
  • 2016-08-03 – Philippe, Philip, & Mark adopt a scientific pose for the department’s ‘eDistillations‘ newsletter.

    Chemists in labcoats
    Looks like science to me…
  • 2016-07-01 – Mark formally starts as an Assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry.
  • 2016-05-10 – Philip & Philippe attend the ‘LabVIEW bootcamp’ over in the Department of Physics.
  • 2016-05-10 – Philip starts summer work: ‘reinforcements have arrived!’
  • 2016-05-09 – Philippe starts summer work. Welcome!
  • 2016-03-03 – Mark participates in UofT Chemistry’s Graduate Students’ Weekend. Excited to start doing science with a strong cohort of incoming graduates!
  • 2016-02-05 – Mark accepts the Department’s offer of a research-stream faculty position. Thrilled to be coming (home-ish) to Toronto!