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  • Colloidal particles exhibit unique properties that are precisely tailorable down to the atomic level. We develop and apply optical tools to trap, assemble and print colloidal particles as building blocks into colloidal superstructures, metamaterials and devices with desired functions. Inline metrology is being developed to measure structures, dynamics and properties of the colloidal matter at single-particle resolution. We aim to develop nanofactories for colloidal metamaterials, to innovate colloidal devices and to elucidate how matter organizes.

  • Chiral molecules are building blocks of life. We develop chiroptical sensors and separators for applications in pharmaceuticals, space life detection and oil industries. Specifically, we are exploiting moire chiral metasurfaces and metamaterials to improve enantiodiscrimination and enantioselective separation of molecules. These metasurfaces and metamaterials, which feature strongly enhanced optical fields and forces of high tunability, can be fabricated at large scale, high throughput and low cost. We are also interested in developing reconfigurable (or responsive) chiroptical materials and devices. 

  • We exploit plasmofluidics to innovate lab on a chip where plasmon-enhanced ultracompact optical components are integrated with microfluidic systems to probe, interrogate and control biological cells and molecules at an unprecedented level. We are particularly interested in developing and applying portable biomedical devices to bring healthcare diagnostics and therapy to underserved areas while advancing study in life sciences.


We engage in interdisciplinary research to innovate optical nanotechnologies in health, energy, manufacturing and national securityOur mission is to:

  • advance fundamental understanding and control of light-matter interactions at the nanoscale;
  • develop and apply optically active materials, devices and tools;
  • promote interdisciplinary trainings for students to understand and contribute to the multiple fields of engineering, science, and medicine.

We focus on three coordinated research areas, which are supported by NIH, NSF, ONR, NASA, ARO, Beckman Foundation, 3M, and Exxonmobil.

  Contact Information:

  Yuebing Zheng, Ph.D.
  Assistant Professor
  Department of Mechanical Engineering
  Materials Science and Engineering Program

  The University of Texas at Austin
  Austin, TX 78712, United States

  Phone: (512) 471-0228

Featured Research

Thermophoretic Tweezers [ACS Nano (2017)]

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

Reversible Assembly [ACS Nano 10 (2016) 9659]

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