Dr Vernon’s research is in plasmonics, the study of the interaction of light with metallic nanostructures. By using a variety of metals of different shapes and sizes, we can make all the colours of the rainbow. Nanostructures are finding applications in environmental sensing, information processing and health. Nanoparticles can also focus and direct light which is useful for solar cell design, and for creating new types of optical circuits for computing and information processing. Optical circuits can potentially operate much faster than electronics, leading to faster computers.
Kristy was a member of Scientists in Schools; having an active collaboration with Marymede Catholic College. Dr Vernon has been appointed the new Women in Physics representative for the Queensland Branch of the Australian Institute of Physics. In this role she will be talking to high school students about her journey, research and possible physics career paths. While at CSIRO she also had the opportunity to discuss her research on live radio as part of a community engagement project.