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Research

Metamaterial is engineered material with exotic properties not found in nature. We explore directed synthesis and assembly of metamaterials for various applications. We have invented a class of optothermal tools for the versatile fabrication of colloidal metamaterials. Roll-to-roll manufacturing is being developed to enable the large-scale implementation of moire metamaterials. Inline multiscale 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 optics and function-enhanced devices.

Many of the basic molecular building blocks of life are chiral species. These chiral molecules are non-superimposable on their mirror images. Enhanced 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 that exploit the tailorable chiroptical properties of chiral metamaterials and metasurfaces to improve asymmetric synthesis, enantiodiscrimination and enantioselective separation of chiral molecules driven by light.

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 plasmonic nanostructures, metamaterials and metasurfaces and harnesses the emerging opto-electro-thermo-fluidic phenomena, to work as nanofactories for functional molecules and nanomaterials and to bring healthcare diagnostics and therapy to underserved areas while advancing studies of the origin and rules of life.