Professor Dragnea received his Diploma in Physics in 1992 from the University of Bucharest. He earned his Ph. D. from the University of Paris where he worked on the fundamentals of laser interaction with semiconductor surfaces, and on the nonlinear vibrational spectroscopy of model catalyst surfaces, with Professor Bernard Bourguignon (from Laboratoire de Photophysique Moléculaire). From 1998 to 2001 he was a postdoctoral scholar at JILA, Boulder, CO, where he studied near-field optical microscopy approaches to a variety of physical chemistry problems with Professor Stephen R. Leone.
Professor Dragnea’s lab is interested in the physics and chemistry of mesoscale materials which have properties that are often very different from both bulk and single molecules, due to the dominance of interfacial effects (e.g. changes in the bulk melting temperature in confinement conditions) and/or coordinated collective behavior (e.g. virus-like particles). The group develops optical characterization methods and experimental models aimed at understanding phenomena in thermoplasmonics, room-temperature super-radiance, and virus mechanics and self-assembly.