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Principal Investigator

Justus C. Ndukaife (Ph.D.), Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering


Justus Ndukaife received a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 2017 during which he received the 2017 prestigious Dimitris N. Chorafas Foundation Award for outstanding Ph.D. dissertation, an award given to the best doctoral candidate at Purdue University every year. Ndukaife has made major contributions in the field optical nanotweezers and his research works have been published in the top peer-reviewed journals including Nature Nanotechnology, Science, ACS Nano, and Nano Letters. He is an inventor of six US patents relating to optical nanotweezers. In recognition of his scientific contributions, Ndukaife was designated a global ‘Rising Star of Light’ for the year 2020. His global iCANX talk on Optical Nanotweezeers research attracted more than 260,000 viewers world-wide. His other honors include a 2021 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Research at Vanderbilt, the Purdue College of Engineering Outstanding Research Award, NSBE Golden Torch Award, Best Paper Award at the ASME conference, Carnegie African Diaspora Fellowship Award, and Vanderbilt Provost Research Studios Award.

Research Focus

Professor Ndukaife’s research is at the interface between the fields of nanophotonics (which involves the confinement and manipulation of light at the deeply subwavelength scale) and microfluidics. Professor Ndukaife’s interdisciplinary research is focused on optical nanotweezers enabled by nanophotonics including plasmonics and resonant dielectric metasurfaces for single extracellular vesicle analysis, as well as for the enhancement of on-chip quantum light sources.