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Justus C. Ndukaife

Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering


Our interdisciplinary research efforts encompass the fields of nanoscale optics (which involves the confinement and manipulation of light at the deeply subwavelength scale), optofluidics, nano-optical tweezers, and active matter.

The specific research thrusts include:

  • Nano-optical trapping, manipulation and spectroscopy with plasmonic and resonant dielectric metasurfaces
  • Nanobiosensors enabled by plasmonic and dielectric resonators for rapid detection of biological analytes
  • Programmable directed self-assembly of nano-engineered materials enabled by light and external fields for energy harvesting, non-linear optics and on-chip light sources
  • Design, synthesis and investigation of novel emergent behavior in micro and nanomotors, and their use in novel lab-on-a-chip devices
  • Thermoplasmonics, including the study and utilization of the inherent loss in plasmonic nanostructures to manipulate heat at the nanoscale.

Through our research, we aim to provide innovative solutions to global challenges in healthcare, nano-manufacturing, renewable energy, and sensing.


• Prize in Physics by Dimitris N. Chorafas Foundation in recognition of research work on Plasmon Nano-Optical Tweezers, 2017
• Purdue University College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award, 2016
• Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship
• Selected to deliver a late-breaking talk at the Gordon Research Conference on Plasmonics and Nanophotonics, 2016
• NSBE Golden Torch Award, 2015
• Best Paper Award at ASME IMECE Conference, 2015

Selected Publications:

Optofluidic control using plasmonic TiN bowtie nanoantenna [lnvited]. Hong, CC; Yang, S; Ndukaife, JC, OPTICAL MATERIALS EXPRESS, 9, 953-964 , (2019) View Abstract

High-Resolution Large-Ensemble Nanoparticle Trapping with Multifunctional Thermoplasmonic Nanohole Metasurface. Ndukaife, JC; Xuan, Y; Nnanna, AGA; Kildishev, AV; Shalaev, VM; Wereley, ST; Boltasseva, A, ACS NANO, 12, 5376-5384 , (2018) View Abstract

Long-range and rapid transport of individual nano- objects by a hybrid electrothermoplasmonic nanotweezer. Ndukaife, JC; Kildishev, AV; Nnanna, AGA; Shalaev, VM; Wereley, ST; Boltasseva, A, NATURE NANOTECNOLOGY, 11, 53-59 , (2016) View Abstract

Plasmonics—turning loss into gain. Ndukaife, JC; Shalaev, VM; Boltasseva, A, SCIENCE, 351, 334-335 , (2016)

Photothermal Heating Enabled by Plasmonic Nanostructures for Electrokinetic Manipulation and Sorting of Particles. Ndukaife, JC; Mishra, A; Guler, U; Nnanna, AGA; Wereley, ST; Boltasseva, A, ACS NANO, 8, 9035-9043 , (2014) View Abstract