Research

Plasmonics Enabled Biosensing and Spectroscopy

Low-cost nano-biosensors, designed for fast, real-time, label-free detection of biomolecules have significant potential for fundamental life science research as well as many healthcare applications including point-of-care clinical diagnostics, pharmaceutical drug discovery, food safety, and environmental monitoring. Surface plasmons coupled to strong near-field optical fields are highly sensitive to the change of local dielectric environments, and thus can be employed for real-time label-free detection of biomolecules. One of our research interests is to develop and investigate new plasmonic sensor technology based on different types of strongly coupled plasmonic nanoresonator systems that could outperform conventional optical and electrical bio-sensors.

Flexible Nanophotonics for Bio-machine Interface 

The use of bioelectronics to monitor and control biological activity is becoming increasingly crucial not only for fundamental biophysical studies but also for medical diagnosis and intervention. Conventional bioelectronics is based on micrometer-scale devices, but rapid advances in nano-enabled devices and systems could lead to a paradigm shift at the biology-machine interface in terms of device dimensions, sensitivity, functionality, and flexibility. One of our research interests is to explore new opportunities to integrate novel nano-enabled electronic, photonic, and optoelectronic devices into flexible and soft materials at the interface with biological systems (e.g. cultured cellular networks, and tissues) for real-time monitoring and regulation of a variety of bio-signals.

Nano-optics Enhanced Low-dimensional Optoelectronics 

A core goal of information technology is to alleviate the bottleneck between fiber-based optical networks for telecommunication and semiconductor-based devices for data generation, processing, routing, and storage. Accomplishing this will require the accelerated development of low-cost, compact, energy-efficient optoelectronic and nonlinear-optical devices for faster information handling and transfer. Plasmonic nanostructures, supporting collective charge oscillations with strongly localized optical fields and a large local density of optical states, can be used to manipulate and enhance light-matter interaction at the subwavelength scale. We are broadly interested in the rational design and integration of plasmonic nanostructures with functional low-dimensional nanomaterials for the development of ultra-compact optoelectronics and nonlinear-optics devices, such as plasmonic lasers, electro-optical modulators, and all-optical switchers.

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