Mechanical Engineering

Contact Information

Higgins Laboratories, Room 110
Phone: +1-508-831-4829
Fax: +1-508-831-5680

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Yuxiang Shawn Liu

The overarching theme of my research is light-matter interactions involving radiation pressure and their applications in microscale and nanoscale. Particularly, my research interests include optical trapping, optofluidics, nanophotonics, cavity optomechanics, and fiber optic sensing systems, with an emphasis on optical actuation, damping, and sensing of mechanics in micro-/nano-scale structures and biological specimens. The potential applications of my research include on-chip disease diagnosis, in vivo disease treatments, motion detection in consumer electronics, health monitoring, and biomechanics. My research has been published in journals including Nature Nanotechnology, Physical Review Letters, Optics Letters, and Optics Express.

In my group, we are interested in interdisciplinary research where knowledge in different disciplines is combined and applied to tackle problems that are difficult or impossible to solve otherwise. We are always looking for ideas and opportunities at the intersection of physics, engineering, and biology. Students in my group will have opportunities to be exposed to a broad range of knowledge and equipment and to heavily interact with each other.

I enjoy teaching because it allows me to pass my knowledge on to students as well as to share with them my attitude towards learning. I feel I am shaping the future by helping students in their personal development. In the meantime, teaching is also a self-development process for me through the interactions with my students.

Research Interests

  • optofluidics
  • Nanophotonics
  • cavity optomechanics
  • optical trapping
  • fiber optic sensors


  • PhD, University of Maryland, 2011
  • MS, University of Science and Technology of China, 2005
  • BE, University of Science and Technology of China, 2002

Featured Publications

  • Yuxiang Liu, Marcelo Davanco, Vladimir Aksyuk, and Kartik Srinivasan, “Electromagnetically induced transparency and wideband wavelength conversion in silicon nitride microdisk optomechanical resonators,” Physics Review Letters 110, 223603 (2013)
  • Yuxiang Liu, Felix Stief, and Miao Yu, “Subwavelength optical trapping with a fiber-based surface plasmonic lens,” Optics Letters 38, 721-723 (2013)
  • Yuxiang Liu, Houxun Miao, Vladimir Aksyuk, and Kartik Srinivasan, “Wide cantilever stiffness range cavity optomechanical sensors for atomic force microscopy,” Optics Express 20, 18268-18280 (2012)
  • Ling Tong, Yuxiang Liu, Bridget D. Dolash, Yookyung Jung, Mikhail N. Slipchenko, Donald E. Bergstrom, Ji-Xin Cheng, "Label-free Imaging of Semiconducting and Metallic Carbon Nanotubes in Cells and Mice Using Transient Absorption Microscopy," Nature Nanotechnology 7, 56-61 (2012)
  • Yuxiang Liu and Miao Yu, “Optical Manipulation and Binding of Microrods with Multiple Traps Enabled in an Inclined Dual-fiber System,” Biomicrofluidics 4, 043010 (2010)

Full list of publications

Labs and Centers

Professional Highlights

  • National Institute of Standards and Technology’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act  (NIST-ARRA) Fellowship: NIST (2011-2013)
  • Ann G. Wylie Dissertation Fellowship: University of Maryland (2009)
  • Future Faculty Program Fellowship: University of Maryland (2007-2009)
  • Guo Moruo Scholarship: University of Science and Technology of China (2001)
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