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  • We develop nanoscale measurement and control techniques to advance the fundamental understanding of light-matter interactions at the nanoscale and to create designer nanomaterials with unprecedented performances. We apply directed and self-assembly to create supramolecules and colloidal superstructures. New optical tweezers and lithography are invented to manipulate and pattern colloidal particles and biological cells. We carry out simultaneous measurements of structures, dynamics and functions of materials at the single-nanoparticle and single-molecule levels.

  • With the capability of surface plasmons in manipulating light at the nanoscale and bridging size mismatch between light and molecules, molecular plasmonics promises novel optical effects and engineering applications. We advance the fundamental understanding of plasmon-enhanced light-matter interactions using single-nanoparticle and single-molecule measurements combined with simulations. We leverage our fundamental understanding to develop novel materials and devices that help address current challenges in health, energy, information technology, and national security.

  • Through a seamless integration of optical nanodevices with microfluidic systems, plasmofluidics enables on-chip optical manipulation and analysis of colloidal particles, cells and biomolecules. We explore plasmofluidics to innovate lab on a chip, mobile health and manufacturing. Our long-term goals are to develop (i) portable biomedical devices that will bring healthcare diagnostics to underserved areas while advancing study in life sciences and (ii) nanofactories that will optically assemble designer materials and devices composed of colloidal particles as building blocks. 


We exploit the synergy among nanophotonics, microfluidics, and colloid and surface chemistry to innovate optical technologies in health, energy, manufacturing, and national securityOur mission is to:

  • apply advanced tools to improve the fundamental understanding and control of light-matter interactions at the single-nanoparticle and single-molecule levels;
  • leverage our improved understanding and control to develop optically active materials, devices and tools for engineering applications and scientific research;
  • promote interdisciplinary trainings for students to understand and to contribute to the multiple fields of engineering, science, and medicine.
Current projects in three coordinated areas focus on development and applications of advanced optical tweezers, sensors, spectroscopy and lithography.

"Progress in science depends on new techniques, new discoveries, and new ideas, probably in that order."---Sydney Brenner

Featured Research

Nanoparticle Assembly [Lin et al. ACS Nano 2016]

Bubble-Pen Lithography [Lin et al. Nano Lett. 2016]

Moire Metasurfaces [Chen et al. ACS Nano 2015]