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  • We advance quantum science and nanotechnology through innovative optical manipulation, manufacturing and measurement at the nanoscale. We invent new optical tweezers, lithography and spectroscopy to construct atom-precise nanoscale building blocks into architected nanomaterials and to investigate their exotic quantum and classical phenomena. Machine learning is applied for inverse design, automated experimentation and performance prediction of the nanomaterials for targeted applications

  • Many of the basic molecular building blocks of life are chiral species, which are non-superimposable on their mirror images. We develop metamaterial-enhanced chiroptical spectroscopy and tweezers to enable label-free enantiodiscrimination and enantioselective separation of chiral molecules. We further integrate the spectroscopy and tweezers into portable tools, which are applied to detect space life, explore the origin of life, probe planet habitability, diagnose diseases, and enhance drug safety. 

  • We develop optical lab-on-a-chip devices and micro/nanoscale robots 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 micro/nanoscale to interrogate, manipulate and dissect biological organs, tissues, cells, bacteria, viruses, organelles and molecules at an unprecedented level.


We innovate optical manipulation, manufacturing, and measurement for quantum, nano, and biological world. Our mission is to:

  • improve fundamental understanding and control of opto-thermo-electro-mechanical coupling down to the atomic scale;
  • develop machine learning models for optical inverse design and data analysis;
  • develop and apply optically active materials, devices, and tools to advance emerging fieldsand
  • promote interdisciplinary trainings for students to 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]