Yang Zhao's directory photo.

Yang Zhao

Assistant Professor

Primary Affiliation

Neurotechnology for Memory and Cognition


Status Affiliate Faculty

Home Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering




  • Biography

    Yang Zhao is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. She is an affiliate of Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology. Yang worked alongside Professor Andrea Alu at the University of Texas, Austin. Following her Ph.D. studies, she worked with Professor Jennifer Dionne as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University, Department of Materials Science. Yang’s research focuses on bionanophotonics: inspired by nature, her team develops biomimetic metamaterials and devices to manipulate electromagnetic and acoustic waves; her team is also passionate about using light and sound to image, sense, and manipulate molecules and molecular interactions.


    • M.S., optical science, University of Central Florida, 2008

    • Ph.D., electrical and electronics engineering, The University of Texas at Austin, 2013

  • Honors

    2015: DLS Carl E. Anderson Dissertation Award, American Physical Society

    2014: Michael H. Granof Awards for Excellence Outstanding Dissertation Award, The University of Texas at Austin

    2013: Professional Development Award, The University of Texas at Austin

    2013: Nano Graduate Portfolio Program Travel Award, The University of Texas at Austin

    2012: CST University Publication Award

  • Research

    Research areas:

    • Biomedical imaging

    • Biosensors and bioelectronics

    • Electromagnetic theory

    Research interests:

    • Nanoscopy

    • Metamaterials

    • Nano-optics

    Yang Zhao’s research covers biomedical imaging, biosensors and bioelectronics, electromagnetic theory, nano-biosystems, nano-materials, and nano-photonics. Her research group, BioNano photonics lab, produces work involved with a large field of topics, including nanophotonics, biophysics, biophotonics, and atomic force microscopy. Their research is highly educational about cell culture, as well as how light and sound interact with biomolecules and cells. Her research displays deep understanding of engineering and materials science.

  • 2017

    • Zhao, Y., Askarpour, A., Sun, L. et al. Chirality detection of enantiomers using twisted optical metamaterials. Nat Commun 8, 14180 (2017).
    • Zhao, Y., Saleh, A., van de Haar, M. et al. Nanoscopic control and quantification of enantioselective optical forces. Nature Nanotech 12, 1055–1059 (2017).


    • ACS Photonics 2016, 3, 3, 304–309 Publication Date:February 23, 2016
    • ACS Photonics 2017, 4, 2, 197–203 Publication Date:December 12, 2016
    • Kim, Jongbum Choudhury, Sajid DeVault, Clayton Zhao, Yang Kildishev, Alexander Shalaev, Vladimir Alu, Andrea Boltasseva, Alexandra. (2016). Controlling the Polarization State of Light with Plasmonic Metal Oxide Metasurface. ACS nano. 10. 9326-9333. 10.1021/acsnano.6b03937.
    • Liu, X. X., Zhao, Y., Alu, A. (2016). Polarizability Tensor Retrieval for Subwavelength Particles of Arbitrary Shape. IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, 64(6), 2301-2310. Article 7442094.


    • [1]Askarpour, A. N., Zhao, Y., and Alù, A., “Wave propagation in twisted metamaterials”, Physical Review B, vol. 90, no. 5, 2014. doi:10.1103/PhysRevB.90.054305.
    • Yang Zhao et al 2014 J. Opt. 16 123001
    • Zhao, Y., Askarpour, A. N., Alù, A. (2014). Chiral effects in plasmonic metasurfaces and twisted metamaterials. In S. Boriskina, & N. I. Zheludev (Eds.), Singular and Chiral Nanoplasmonics (pp. 97-125). Pan Stanford Publishing Pte. Ltd..


    • Zhao, Y., Aluì, A. (2013). Tailoring the dispersion of plasmonic nanorods to realize broadband optical meta-waveplates. Nano letters, 13(3), 1086-1091.


    • Nano Lett. 2013, 13, 1, 142–147 Publication Date:December 7, 2012 Copyright © 2012 American Chemical Society
    • Zhao, Yang Belkin, Mikhail Alu, Aand. (2012). Twisted Optical Metamaterials for Planarized Ultrathin Broadband Circular Polarizers. Nature communications. 3. 870. 10.1038/ncomms1877.


    • Di Falco, Andrea Zhao, Yang Alú, Andrea. (2011). Optical metasurfaces with robust angular response on flexible substrates. Applied Physics Letters. 99. 163110. 10.1063/1.3655332.
    • Li, P. C., Zhao, Y., Alú, A., Yu, E. T. (2011). Experimental realization and modeling of a subwavelength frequency-selective plasmonic metasurface. Applied Physics Letters, 99(22), Article 221106.
    • PhysRevB.84.205428, Manipulating light polarization with ultrathin plasmonic metasurfaces Zhao, Yang and Al`u, Andrea, Phys. Rev. B, 84, 20, 205428, 6, 2011, Nov, American Physical Society, 10.1103/PhysRevB.84.205428,
    • Yang Zhao, Nader Engheta, and Andrea Alù, "Effects of shape and loading of optical nanoantennas on their sensitivity and radiation properties," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 28, 1266-1274 (2011)
    • Zhao, Y., Engheta, N., Alù, A. (2011). Homogenization of plasmonic metasurfaces modeled as transmission-line loads. Metamaterials, 5(2-3), 90-96.