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  • We explore directed assembly of optical metamaterials that offer new ways of manipulating electromagnetic wave. These include moire metamaterials and metamaterials with colloidal particles as building blocks. We develop optothermal manipulation techniques to assemble colloidal particles into desired configurations in a scalable manner. Inline optical metrology is applied to measure structures, dynamics and properties of metamaterials at single-particle resolution. We further explore colloidal particles coupled to molecules and 2D materials for active metamaterials, devices and tools.

  • Chiral molecules are building blocks of life. Synthesis, detection and separation of chiral molecules underpin various applications ranging from medicine to space life detection. We develop and apply a wide range of chiroptical devices based on optical chiral metamaterials and metasurfaces to improve asymmetric synthesis, enantiodiscrimination and enantioselective separation of chiral molecules.

  • Optofluidic lab on a chip, which integrates ultracompact optical components into micro/nanofluidic systems, enables us to probe, interrogate and control colloidal particles, biological cells and molecules at an unprecedented level. We develop a new class of optofluidic lab on a chip that exploits optical metamaterials, metasurfaces and plasmonics 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, life sciences, national security, energy, and manufacturingOur 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 projects in three coordinated research areas, which are supported by NIH, NSF, ONR, NASA, ARO, Beckman Foundation, 3M, and Exxonmobil. These projects target at applications in space life detection, early disease diagnostics, medicine, immunotherapy, cell biology, information technology, solar energy and oil industry. 

  Contact Information:

  Yuebing Zheng, Ph.D.
  Assistant Professor
  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)]

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]