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We develop user-friendly low-power optical techniques for versatile manipulation and assembly of colloidal particles. We carry out simultaneous measurements of structures, dynamics and functions of the particles and assemblies. Applications range from cellular biology and tissue engineering to programmable designer materials. Our long-term goals are to elucidate how matter organizes in both materials world and life sciences and to develop scalable assembly of designer materials.

With the capability of surface plasmons in manipulating light at the nanoscale, molecular plasmonics bridges size mismatch between light and molecules for new physics and functions. We aim to advance fundamental understanding of the molecule-plasmon coupling with single-nanoparticle and single-molecule measurements and to develop novel optical materials and devices. We have recently developed rewritable nanophotonics, moire chiral metamaterials, and chiral sensors.

We exploit plasmofluidics, which merges light and fluids at the micro/nanoscale, to miniaturize and empower lab on a chip. We focus on developing (i) point-of-care biomedical devices that bring healthcare diagnostics to underserved areas while advancing study in life sciences and (ii) nanofactories that optically assemble designer materials and devices with colloidal particles as building blocks.