My main research areas include Optical MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) and optofluidics. In optofluidics, my group invented “optoelectronic tweezers” (OET) that enable massively parallel manipulation of individual biological cells using digital projectors. The cells are corralled by projected light cages through light-induced dielectrophoresis so they can be cloned, cultured, and sorted according to the antibodies they secret. The OET technology is being commercialized by Berkeley Lights Inc. for cell line development, immunotherapy, and gene editing applications. In Optical MEMS, we are interested in reconfigurable photonic integrated circuits with movable waveguides. Recently, our group demonstrated a large-scale (128×128) silicon photonic switch on a centimeter chip. Such switches have applications in data center and telecommunication networks. We are also interested in 3D sensing technologies. Solid-state light-detection-and-ranging (LiDAR) devices have many applications including autonomous vehicles, robot navigation, 3D mapping, precision manufacturing, and biometric identification.

Awards and Achievements

  • C.E.K. Mees Medal from Optical Society of America ( 2017)
  • IEEE Photonics Socieity William Streifer Scientific Achievement Award ( 2016)
  • Nortel Distinguished Professorship ( 2011)
  • Paul F. Forman Engineering Excellence Award from Optical Society of America ( 2007)
  • IEEE Fellow ( 2002)
  • Packard Foundation Fellow ( 1992)