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In a quickly advancing world, scientific concepts and research ideas that once only existed in laboratories are being transformed into functional materials and devices. From an engineering perspective, Prof. Xin Zhang’s laboratory has concentrated on the design, fabrication, characterization, and testing of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS or microsystems) for the past decade and, more importantly, has been dedicated to tailoring and transforming these systems for use in fundamental research and to fulfill societal needs.

In the area of advanced materials, Zhang has applied MEMS techniques to develop metamaterials--arrays of engineered structures that act like artificial atoms and exhibit unusual properties such as negative refractive indices and cloaking. She has focused on creating metamaterials in the terahertz range (wavelengths between optical and microwave frequencies) that may ultimately be used for surveillance, imaging, and chemical detection. In biomedicine, she has developed a MEMS-based toolset to analyze cellular behavior to yield knowledge that could improve our understanding of cardiovascular, kidney and other diseases, and potentially lead to novel therapies. Finally, in the energy domain, she has taken a fresh look at microfluidic applications in the midinfrared range, and developed micro gas chromatography and microfluidic communication systems designed to improve the efficiency and safety of oil and gas extraction.

  Research themes and applications areas represented by our work in micro/nanosystems:

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