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  • We push the limits of optical manipulations and measurements to advance nanoparticle science and applications. We develop optical nanotweezers and nanoprinting to create achitected nanomaterials and nanodevices with desired functions from a wide variety of chemically synthesized nanoparticles or their chemical precursors. Inline metrology at single-nanoparticle resolution coupled with machine learning enables in-situ measurement, performance prediction, manufacturing automation and inverse design

  • Many of the basic molecular building blocks of life are chiral species, which are non-superimposable on their mirror images. By merging chiral metamaterials, optofluidics and machine learning, our chiroptical nanodevices enable label-free enantiodiscrimination and enantioselective separation of chiral molecules. We are applying these devices to detect space life, study the origin of life, explore planet habitability, investigate biology, diagnose diseases, and enhance drug safety. 

  • We develop lab-on-a-chip devices and nanorobots to bring healthcare diagnostics and therapy to underserved areas while advancing life sciences. Our devices and robots merge functional materials, optics, fluidics and machine learning at the nanoscale to interrogate, manipulate and dissect biological organs, tissues, cells, bacteria, viruses, organelles and molecules at an unprecedented level.


We explore intelligent nanophotonics, which merges photonics and artificial intelligence at the nanoscale. Our mission is to:

  • improve fundamental understanding of light-matter interaction and opto-thermo-electro-mechanical coupling at the nanoscale;
  • develop machine learning models for inverse design, data analysis and performance prediction;
  • develop and apply advanced materials, devices and tools, which are further enhanced by artificial intelligence; and 
  • promote interdisciplinary trainings for students to understand and contribute to the multiple fields of science, engineering, and medicine.

 Principal Investigator:

 Yuebing Zheng, Associate Professor                       William W. Hagerty Fellowship in Engineering 
 Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering
 Materials Science and Engineering Program
 The University of Texas at Austin
 Austin, TX 78712, United States
 Phone: 1 (512) 471-0228

We are also affiliated with Department of Electrical and  Computer Engineering, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Texas Materials Institute, Center for Electrochemistry, and Center for Planetary Systems Habitability.

Featured Research

Opto-Thermoelectric Pulling of Particles [LSA (2020)]

Solid-Phase Optical Tweezers [Nature Communications (2019)

Reconfigurable Chiral Metamolecules [Materials Today (2019)]

Opto-Thermoelectric Nanotweezers [Nature Photonics (2018)]

Opto-Thermophoretic Tweezers [ACS Nano (2017)]

Bubble-Pen Lithography [Nano Lett. 16 (2016) 701]