Research

Welcome to the homepage of Prof. Xiaobo Yin's research group at the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Materials Science and Engineering Program of the University of Colorado, Boulder.      Go Buffs!

We are looking for motivated students and postdoctoral researchers in Nanomaterials and Nanophotonics! 

Our research is focused on nanoscale materials and their applications: the interdisciplinary synergy of applied physics, materials sciences, and multiple sectors of engineering.  We design and synthesize artificially nanomaterials with unprecedented properties; we explore technologies benefiting from material properties by design; and we develop devices with unique functionalities enabled by this materials engineering. More importantly, we develop manufacturing technologies that enable large-scale deployment of these innovative nanostructures and nanomaterials for advanced applications in photonic, electronic, and energy systems.



Materials in the Flatland: graphene and beyond 
Non-trivial electronic properties stemming from the topologies and symmetries of nanomaterials such as graphene, topological insulators, and two-dimensional electron gases (2DEG) at the interfaces of perovskite oxides result in revolutionary nanophotonic and electronic applications. There have been tremendous opportunities to introduce controllable light flow and light-matter interactions into these still young materials systems to help reveal fundamental
unknown behaviors and properties  and to identify new prospects for applications. The figure above shows the polarized nonlinear emission from a polycrystalline 2D transition metal dichalcogenide (MoS2) atomic membrane, which allows all-optical characterization of its crystal structure.

Examples of 2D materials physics and applications:
Valley-spintronic light-emitting devices,  Nature Nanotechnology 11, 598 (2016).
Excitonic Dark States in 2D Materials, Nature 513, 214 (2014).
Nonlinear Optical Materials, Science 344, 488 (2014).
Integrated Graphene Optical Modulators, Nature Materials 11, 936 (2012); Nature 474, 64 (2011).



Metamaterials: materials beyond the natural ones
Metamaterials, judiciously designed composite nanostructures, have emerged as a new frontier in science and engineering. The physical properties of a conventional material is essentially determined by its chemical constituents and bonds. However, the properties of a metamaterial are not limited by its composition but instead depend on its internal structure--leaving tremendous degrees of freedom for materials design. It not only offers an entirely new route to further enhance materials’ physical properties but enables our ability to design entirely new material properties. The figure on the left illustrates a 2D metamaterial that generates and manipulates the spin-orbit interaction of light.

Examples of designer metamaterials:
Metamaterial that is highly nonlinear, Nature Materials 14, 379 (2015).
Metamaterial that self-assembles, Nature Nanotechnology 9, 1002 (2014).
Metasurface that manifests the photonic Spin hall effect, Science 339, 1405 (2013); Phys. Rev. A 93, 013839 (2016); Optics Express 24, 21177 (2016).  Also see DoE Science Highlight. 
Metamaterial that permits nonlinear optical conversion without phase matching, Science 342, 1223 (2013).
Metamaterial that provides unidirectional light propagation, Nature Materials 12, 175 (2013).
Metamaterial-enablement of the smallest existing optical cavity, Nature Photonics 6, 450 (2012).
Metamaterial that can "see" objects smaller than the diffraction limit of light, Nature Comm. 1, 143 (2011).
Metamaterial that boosts the resolutions of sonic imaging, Nature Physics 7, 52 (2011); Nature Materials 8, 931 (2009).


Manufacturing technology for nanostructures and nanomaterials at scale
The burgeoning research on nanomaterials and nanostructured materials has opened the door for numerous applications.  However, widespread implementation is impeded by manufacturability.  Scalable, precise, reliable, and cost-effective manufacturing approaches are critically needed.  A different set of scientific and technological questions have to be asked and addressed to scale up fabrication and ultimately use nanostructured materials in real life.  A recent thrust of my research addresses this fundamental manufacturing challenge, with our approach embracing both
novel scalable manufacturing techniques and innovative metamaterial structural designs.  The right image shows our recently established Roll-to-Roll (R2R) Scalable Nanomanufacturing lab at the CU Engineering Center with a 300-mm-wide metamaterial thin film manufactured for highly efficient radiative cooling. Leveraging these uniquely developed manufacturing technologies, we also plan to develop and apply large-scale energy-converting metamaterials for building technology, solar fuel systems, and greenhouse technology.

Example: Scalable-manufactured hybrid metamaterial for day-time radiative cooling, Science 355, 1062 (2017).







We are grateful for funding support from,

















To visit, you can find us in Room 140 of the Discovery Learning Center in the Engineering and Applied Sciences Center at CU Boulder. 



Group News

11/2017
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announces 2017 Moore Inventor at the Tech Museum of San Jose, California, and Professor Yin was elected as one of the inventors. 

11/2017
Professor Yin gave an invited talk at the 2017 OSA Light, Energy and the Environment Congress at National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), Boulder, Colorado. 

10/2017
Professor Yin was invited to participate the 2017 Frontier of Engineering (FOE) conference organized by National Academy of Engineering (NAE) at the United Technology Research Center (UTRC), East Hartford, Connecticut. 

9/2017
Professor Yin gave an invited talk at the 2017 Annual AVS Rocky Mountain Chapter Symposium, Westminster, Colorado. 

8/2017
Professor Yin gave an invited talk at the 2017 SPIE Optics and Photonics Conference, San Diego, California.

8/2017
Professor Yin gave an invited talk at the 2017 CLEO Pacific Rim, OECC, and PGC, Singapore

8/2017
Professor Yin visited Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) of Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and delivered an invited seminar, Singapore. 
 
7/2017
Professor Yin gave an invited talk at the 8th International Conference on Metamaterials, Photonic Crystals and Plasmonics, Seoul, Korea. 

6/2017
Professor Yin gave a keynote speech at the 4th international conference on phononic crystal/metamaterials, phonon transport/coupling and topological phononics, Changsha, China.

5/2017
Professor Yin gave a invited speech on the advances on metaphotonic devices at CLEO 2017, San Jose, California.

4/2017
Congrats to Yao, who just received the NKT Student Award at MRS Spring Meeting at San Francisco!
 
3/2017
Congrats to RadiCold team! Having great research shows at both 2017 ARPA-E Summit and Capitol Hill, the United States Congress. 

2/2017
Congrats to Yao, Yaoguang, Sabrina, and Runnan for their Science paper appeared online! Thank you all for the great work!

1/2017
Professor Yin presented an invited seminar at SunPower Inc., San Jose, California.

1/2017
Professor Yin visited National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Golden, Colorado.

10/2016
Professor Yin presented an invited talk at the 53rd Annual Technical Meeting of Society of Engineering Science,  Maryland.

5/2016
Professor Yin presented an invited talk at the 3rd International Conference on Phononics and Thermal Energy Science (PTES 2016), Xi'an, China.

10/2015
Professor Yin presented an invited talk at American Vacuum Society (AVS) 62 annual meeting, San Jose, California.

10/2015
Professor Yin received the DARPA young faculty award.

9/2015
Professor Yin visited and presented at United States Military Academy (USMA), West Point, NY.

9/2015
Invited speech at Metamaterials'2015, the 9th International Congress on Advanced Electromagnetic Materials in Microwaves and Optics, Oxford, UK.

9/2015
Welcome Professor Hong Su from Shenzhen University joining us as a visiting professor!

8/2015
Welcome our new PhD students - Hang Yin and Jiarong Wang! Welcome aboard!

8/2015
Our radiative cooling project is on the news!

8/2015
Kicking off the new ARPA-E program. Thank you, the team!

7/2015
Welcome Dr. Yaoguang Ma joining the group!

7/2015
Professor Yin presented an invited talk at the International Symposium on Physics and Device Application of Two-dimensional Materials, Nanjing, China.

7/2015
Professor Yin presented an invited talk at Nano Korea 2015, Seoul, Korea.

4/2015
Professor Yin presented an invited talk for the Optics and Electronics Seminar at Stanford University, Stanford, California.

4/2015
Professor Yin presented an invited talk at the 2015 SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing Technologies conference, Baltimore, Maryland.
 
3/2015
Professor Yin presented an invited talk at the APS March Meeting, San Antonio, TX.

2/2015
Professor Yin visited and presented at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM.

1/2015
Professor Yin presented an invited talk at the 45th Winder Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics (PQE-2015), Snowbird, UT.

11/2014
Professor Yin presented an invited talk at the 2014 EMN International Conference, Orlando, FL.

11/2014
Our optical metamaterial paper was featured in Science Daily and Phys.org and LBL news.

9/2014
Professor Yin presented an invited talk at the 2014 CINT (Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories) User Meeting and the 6th International Workshop on Electromagnetic Metamaterials, Santa Fe, NM.

9/2014
Professor Yin presented an invited talk at the 2014 Annual Symposium of AVS Rock Mountain Chapter.

9/2014
Our work, "Excitonic Dark States Shed Light on TMDC Atomic Layers," is highlighted in the DoE LBNL news center.

8/2014
Our recent work on acoustic/sound wave control is featured in the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory News Center. See the news release.

6/2014
Prof. Yin presented an invited talk at CLEO-2014, San Jose, CA.

5/2014
Prof. Yin presented an invited talk at META'14, the 5th International Conference on Metamaterials, Photonic Crystals and Plasmonics, Singapore.

5/2014
Prof. Yin presented an invited talk at Metamaterial Workshop at IMRE (AStar), National University of Singapore, Singapore.

5/2014
Prof. Yin visited and presented at Nanjing University and Northeastern University, Nanjing, China

5/2014
Prof. Yin presented an invited talk at the PECS-XI, Shanghai, China.

5/2014
Prof. Yin visited and presented at Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China.

5/2014
LBL news release of our recent work on nonlinear optics of 2D atomic membrane.

4/2014
Prof. Yin delivered an invited talk at the MRS meeting, San Francisco, CA.

3/2014
Prof. Yin presented at the APS March meeting, Denver, CO.

2/2014
Prof. Yin presented at the Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL. 

1/2014
Prof. Yin presented at the Condense Matter Physics Seminar Series of CU Physics Department. 

12/2013
Our new work on "Phase-matching-free Nonlinear Optics" is just released in Science magazine! See the news release.  The work is highlighted in the Science Research Highlight

12/2013
Prof. Yin presented an invited talk at the MRS Fall meeting at Boston, MA. 

11/2013
Mr. Xuyue Shi won the UROP award. Congratulations!

10/2013
Prof. Yin gave the Optical, Electronic and Quantum Systems (OEQS) Seminar.

10/2013
Prof. Yin presented at Colorado Photonics Industry Association (CPIA).

10/2013
Prof. Yin spoke at the MCEN Graduate Seminar of CU Boulder.

9/2013
Prof. Yin presented the invited talk at the OSA incubator meeting at Washington DC.

9/2013
Prof. Yin presented the invited talk at Physical Sciences Symposia, 2013, Boston.

8/2013
Prof. Yin's work is featured in the Science Highlights of Department of Energy (DoE) sponsored research, "Putting Light to Work at the Quantum Scale".

8/2013
Prof. Yin presented an invited talk at SPIE Photonics and Optics Annual Conference 2013, San Diego, CA.

8/2013
Prof. Yin presented an invited talk at Intel Inc., Santa Clara, CA. 

8/2013
Dr. Yin joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Materials Science and Engineering Program of the University of Colorado, Boulder.