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Metamaterial is engineered material with exotic properties not found in nature. We explore directed assembly and synthesis of optical metamaterials such as moire metamaterials and colloidal metamaterials for various applications. Roll-to-roll manufacturing is being developed to enable the cost-effective large-scale assembly of moire metamaterials. We have invented a class of optothermal tools to direct chemical reactions and assemble colloidal particles into targeted metamaterials. Inline multiscale metrology is applied to measure structures, dynamics and properties of metamaterials. We further explore metamaterials coupled with active molecules and atomically thin materials for function-enhanced devices.

Many of the basic molecular building blocks of life are chiral species, which are non-superimposable on their mirror images. The 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 and apply a variety of chiroptical metadevices that exploit the tailorable chiroptical properties of chiral metamaterials and metasurfaces to improve asymmetric synthesis, enantiodiscrimination and enantioselective separation of chiral molecules.

Optofluidic lab on a chip integrates compact 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.