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  • Metamaterial is engineered material with exotic properties not found in nature. We develop smart manufacturing of metamaterials for various applications. We have invented a series of optothermal tools, including opto-thermoelectric tweezers and bubble printing, for digital assembly of colloidal metamaterials. Roll-to-roll processing is developed for the large-scale manufacturing of moire metamaterials. Inline metrology is applied to measure structures, dynamics and properties of metamaterials. We further couple metamaterials with functional molecules, quantum dots and atomic-thin materials for quantum physics and devices.

  • Many of the basic molecular building blocks of life are chiral species. Chiral molecules are non-superimposable on their mirror images. The capabilities of synthesizing, analyzing and purifying chiral molecules are highly desired for a wide range of applications from medicine to space life detection. We develop a variety of chiroptical devices, which exploit the tailorable chiroptical properties of chiral metamaterials and metasurfaces, to significanlty improve light-driven asymmetric synthesis, enantiodiscrimination and enantioselective separation of chiral molecules.

  • Optofluidic lab on a chip integrates optical components into micro/nanofluidic systems to enable interrogation and control of colloidal particles, biological cells and molecules at an unprecedented level. We develop a new class of optofluidic lab on a chip, which exploits the tailorable optical properties of metamaterials and the emerging opto-electro-thermo-fluidic phenomena. Some of them work as nanofactories for manufacturing of functional molecules, nanomaterials and nanodevices. Others aim to bring healthcare diagnostics and therapy to underserved areas while advancing studies of the origin and rules of life.


We innovate optical nanotechnologies for health, energy, smart manufacturing, national security, and data revolutionOur mission is to:

  • improve fundamental understanding of nanoscale light-matter interaction and opto-electro-thermo-fluidics;
  • develop new optically active materials, devices and tools to advance basic science and address challenges in the various fields; and
  • promote interdisciplinary trainings for students to understand and contribute to the multiple fields of science, engineering and medicine.

Current projects in three coordinated research areas are mainly supported by NIH, NSF, ONR, NASA, ARO, Beckman Foundation, 3M, and Exxonmobil.

  Contact Information:

  Yuebing Zheng
  Department of Mechanical Engineering
  Materials Science and Engineering Program

  Texas Materials Institute
  The University of Texas at Austin
  204 E. Dean Keeton Street
  Austin, TX 78712, United States

  Phone: (512) 471-0228

Recent Publications

Featured Research

Opto-Thermoelectric Nanotweezers [Nature Photonics (2018)]

Opto-Thermophoretic Tweezers [ACS Nano (2017)]

Rewritable Nanophotonics [Nano Lett. 16 (2016) 7655]

Opto-Thermophoretic Assembly [ACS Nano 10 (2016) 9659]

Bubble-Pen Lithography [Nano Lett. 16 (2016) 701]