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Research

Optical metamaterials offer new ways of manipulating electromagnetic wave. We develop optical metamaterials with colloidal nanoparticles as building blocks (known as meta-atoms)Colloidal nanoparticles exhibit rich properties that are tailorable down to atomic level. Opto-thermal tools are developed to manipulate and assemble colloidal particles into desired configurations. Inline optical metrology is developed to measure structures, dynamics and properties of metamaterials at single-particle resolution. Optical phenomena of nanoparticles at molecules and two-dimensional materials are also explored, enabling the developments of active metamaterials and new optical nano-tools such as reactive bubble printing and optical scissors.

Chiral molecules are building blocks of life. We focus on developing and applying optical chiral metamaterials to improve enantiodiscrimination and enantioselective separation of chiral molecules, which underpin a variety of applications ranging from drug purification to space life detection. Recent examples include the development and applications of moire chiral metamaterials, which feature strongly enhanced tunable superchiral fields and can be fabricated at large scale, high throughput and low cost. We also develop active chiral metamaterials that can controllably change their optical responses upon external stimuli. 

We innovate lab on a chip by developing and integrating ultracompact multi-functional optical components based on plasmonics, metamaterials and metasurfaces into micro/nanofluidic systems. Such an optofluidic lab on a chip enables us to probe, interrogate and control colloidal particles, biological cells and molecules at an unprecedented level. We focus on developing portable biomedical devices that exploit the optofluidic technology to bring healthcare diagnostics and therapy to underserved areas while advancing study in life sciences.