Honors & Awards

  • Schmidt Science Fellowship, Schmidt Sciences (2024)
  • Lindau Young Scientist, Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings (2019)
  • A*STAR Roll of Honor, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore (2017)
  • D.S. Kothari Prize in Physics, California Institute of Technology (2017)
  • Friends of the Caltech Libraries Senior Thesis Prize, California Institute of Technology (2017)
  • Ken Hass Outstanding Student Paper Award, American Physical Society (2017)
  • Haren Lee Fisher Memorial Award in Junior Physics, California Institute of Technology (2016)
  • Jack E. Froehlich Memorial Award, California Institute of Technology (2016)
  • National Science Scholarship, Agency for Science, Technology and Research, Singapore (2013-2023)

Professional Education

  • Master of Science, Harvard University (2022)
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Harvard University (2023)
  • Bachelor of Science, California Institute of Technology, Physics (2017)

Stanford Advisors


  • Maryna Leonidivna Meretska, Soon Wei Daniel Lim, Federico Capasso. "United States Patent 11,860,336 High-aspect ratio metalens", Harvard College, Jan 2, 2024

All Publications

  • All-Glass 100 mm Diameter Visible Metalens for Imaging the Cosmos. ACS nano Park, J. S., Lim, S. W., Amirzhan, A., Kang, H., Karrfalt, K., Kim, D., Leger, J., Urbas, A., Ossiander, M., Li, Z., Capasso, F. 2024


    Metasurfaces, optics made from subwavelength-scale nanostructures, have been limited to millimeter-sizes by the scaling challenge of producing vast numbers of precisely engineered elements over a large area. In this study, we demonstrate an all-glass 100 mm diameter metasurface lens (metalens) comprising 18.7 billion nanostructures that operates in the visible spectrum with a fast f-number (f/1.5, NA = 0.32) using deep-ultraviolet (DUV) projection lithography. Our work overcomes the exposure area constraints of lithography tools and demonstrates that large metasurfaces are commercially feasible. Additionally, we investigate the impact of various fabrication errors on the imaging quality of the metalens, several of which are specific to such large area metasurfaces. We demonstrate direct astronomical imaging of the Sun, the Moon, and emission nebulae at visible wavelengths and validate the robustness of such metasurfaces under extreme environmental thermal swings for space applications.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acsnano.3c09462

    View details for PubMedID 38230651

  • Time Reversal Differentiation of FDTD for Photonic Inverse Design ACS PHOTONICS Tang, R., Lim, S., Ossiander, M., Yin, X., Capasso, F. 2023; 10 (12): 4140-4150
  • Helicity and Polarization Gradient Optical Trapping in Evanescent Fields. Physical review letters Lu, J., Ginis, V., Lim, S. W., Capasso, F. 2023; 131 (14): 143803


    Optical traps using nonconservative forces instead of conservative intensity-gradient forces expand the trap parameter space. Existing traps with nonconservative helicity-dependent forces are limited to chiral particles and fields with helicity gradients. We relax these constraints by proposing helicity and polarization gradient optical trapping of achiral particles in evanescent fields. We further propose an optical switching system in which a microsphere is trapped and optically manipulated around a microfiber using polarization gradients. Our Letter deepens the understanding of light-matter interactions in polarization gradient fields and expands the range of compatible particles and stable trapping fields.

    View details for DOI 10.1103/PhysRevLett.131.143803

    View details for PubMedID 37862648

  • Topologically protected optical polarization singularities in four-dimensional space SCIENCE ADVANCES Spaegele, C. M., Tamagnone, M., Lim, S., Ossiander, M., Meretska, M. L., Capasso, F. 2023; 9 (24): eadh0369


    Optical singularities play a major role in modern optics and are frequently deployed in structured light, super-resolution microscopy, and holography. While phase singularities are uniquely defined as locations of undefined phase, polarization singularities studied thus far are either partial, i.e., bright points of well-defined polarization, or are unstable for small field perturbations. We demonstrate a complete, topologically protected polarization singularity; it is located in the four-dimensional space spanned by the three spatial dimensions and the wavelength and is created in the focus of a cascaded metasurface-lens system. The field Jacobian plays a key role in the design of such higher-dimensional singularities, which can be extended to multidimensional wave phenomena, and pave the way for unconventional applications in topological photonics and precision sensing.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/sciadv.adh0369

    View details for Web of Science ID 001012158900007

    View details for PubMedID 37327327

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC10275587

  • Point singularity array with metasurfaces. Nature communications Lim, S. W., Park, J., Kazakov, D., Spagele, C. M., Dorrah, A. H., Meretska, M. L., Capasso, F. 2023; 14 (1): 3237


    Phase singularities are loci of darkness surrounded by monochromatic light in a scalar field, with applications in optical trapping, super-resolution imaging, and structured light-matter interactions. Although 1D singular structures, like optical vortices, are common due to their robust topological properties, uncommon 0D (point) and 2D (sheet) singularities can be generated by wavefront-shaping devices like metasurfaces. With the design flexibility of metasurfaces, we deterministically position ten identical point singularities using a single illumination source. The phasefront is inverse-designed using phase-gradient maximization with an automatically-differentiable propagator and produces tight longitudinal intensity confinement. The array is experimentally realized with a TiO2 metasurface. One possible application is blue-detuned neutral atom trap arrays, for which this field would enforce 3D confinement and a potential depth around 0.22mK per watt of incident laser power. We show that metasurface-enabled point singularity engineering may significantly simplify and miniaturize the optical architecture for super-resolution microscopes and dark traps.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-023-39072-6

    View details for PubMedID 37277345

  • Extreme ultraviolet metalens by vacuum guiding SCIENCE Ossiander, M., Meretska, M., Hampel, H., Lim, S., Knefz, N., Jauk, T., Capasso, F., Schultze, M. 2023; 380 (6640): 59-63


    Extreme ultraviolet (EUV) radiation is a key technology for material science, attosecond metrology, and lithography. Here, we experimentally demonstrate metasurfaces as a superior way to focus EUV light. These devices exploit the fact that holes in a silicon membrane have a considerably larger refractive index than the surrounding material and efficiently vacuum-guide light with a wavelength of ~50 nanometers. This allows the transmission phase at the nanoscale to be controlled by the hole diameter. We fabricated an EUV metalens with a 10-millimeter focal length that supports numerical apertures of up to 0.05 and used it to focus ultrashort EUV light bursts generated by high-harmonic generation down to a 0.7-micrometer waist. Our approach introduces the vast light-shaping possibilities provided by dielectric metasurfaces to a spectral regime that lacks materials for transmissive optics.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.adg6881

    View details for Web of Science ID 000969258200005

    View details for PubMedID 37023199

  • Polarization Multi-Image Synthesis with Birefringent Metasurfaces Hazineh, D., Lim, S., Guo, Q., Capasso, F., Zickler, T., IEEE IEEE. 2023
  • All-Optical Tunability of Metalenses Permeated with Liquid Crystals ACS NANO Palermo, G., Lininger, A., Guglielmelli, A., Ricciardi, L., Nicoletta, G., De Luca, A., Park, J., Lim, S., Meretska, M. L., Capasso, F., Strangi, G. 2022; 16 (10): 16539-16548


    Metasurfaces have been extensively engineered to produce a wide range of optical phenomena, allowing exceptional control over the propagation of light. However, they are generally designed as single-purpose devices without a modifiable postfabrication optical response, which can be a limitation to real-world applications. In this work, we report a nanostructured planar-fused silica metalens permeated with a nematic liquid crystal (NLC) and gold nanoparticle solution. The physical properties of embedded NLCs can be manipulated with the application of external stimuli, enabling reconfigurable optical metasurfaces. We report the all-optical, dynamic control of the metalens optical response resulting from thermoplasmonic-induced changes of the NLC solution associated with the nematic-isotropic phase transition. A continuous and reversible tuning of the metalens focal length is experimentally demonstrated, with a variation of 80 μm (0.16% of the 5 cm nominal focal length) along the optical axis. This is achieved without direct mechanical or electrical manipulation of the device. The reconfigurable properties are compared with corroborating numerical simulations of the focal length shift and exhibit close correspondence.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acsnano.2c05887

    View details for Web of Science ID 000868186300001

    View details for PubMedID 36215293

  • A High Aspect Ratio Inverse-Designed Holey Metalens NANO LETTERS Lim, S., Meretska, M. L., Capasso, F. 2021; 21 (20): 8642-8649


    Free-standing nanofins or pillar meta-atoms are the most common constituent building blocks in metalenses and metasurfaces in general. Here, we present an alternative metasurface geometry based on high aspect ratio via-holes. We design and characterize metalenses comprising ultradeep via-holes in 5 μm thick free-standing silicon membranes with hole aspect ratios approaching 30:1. These metalenses focus incident infrared light into a diffraction-limited spot. Instead of shaping the metasurface optical phase profile alone, we engineer both transmitted phase and amplitude profiles simultaneously by inverse-designing the lens effective index profile. This approach improves the impedance match between the incident and transmitted waves, thereby increasing the focusing efficiency. The holey platform increases the accessible aspect ratio of optical nanostructures without sacrificing mechanical robustness. The high nanostructure aspect ratio also increases the chromatic group delay range attainable, paving the way for a generation of high aspect ratio ruggedized flat optics, including large-area broadband achromatic metalenses.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.nanolett.1c02612

    View details for Web of Science ID 000713060900015

    View details for PubMedID 34634205

  • Engineering phase and polarization singularity sheets NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Lim, S., Park, J., Meretska, M. L., Dorrah, A. H., Capasso, F. 2021; 12 (1): 4190


    Optical phase singularities are zeros of a scalar light field. The most systematically studied class of singular fields is vortices: beams with helical wavefronts and a linear (1D) singularity along the optical axis. Beyond these common and stable 1D topologies, we show that a broader family of zero-dimensional (point) and two-dimensional (sheet) singularities can be engineered. We realize sheet singularities by maximizing the field phase gradient at the desired positions. These sheets, owning to their precise alignment requirements, would otherwise only be observed in rare scenarios with high symmetry. Furthermore, by applying an analogous procedure to the full vectorial electric field, we can engineer paraxial transverse polarization singularity sheets. As validation, we experimentally realize phase and polarization singularity sheets with heart-shaped cross-sections using metasurfaces. Singularity engineering of the dark enables new degrees of freedom for light-matter interaction and can inspire similar field topologies beyond optics, from electron beams to acoustics.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-021-24493-y

    View details for Web of Science ID 000687325900009

    View details for PubMedID 34234140

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC8263812

  • On-chip optical tweezers based on freeform optics OPTICA Yu, S., Lu, J., Ginis, V., Kheifets, S., Lim, S., Qiu, M., Gu, T., Hu, J., Capasso, F. 2021; 8 (3): 409-414
  • HLA Correlations with Clinical Phenotypes and Risk of Metabolic Comorbidities in Singapore Chinese Psoriasis Patients MOLECULAR DIAGNOSIS & THERAPY Shen, M., Lim, S., Tan, E. S., Oon, H. H., Ren, E. 2019; 23 (6): 751-760


    Psoriasis is a systemic, chronic inflammatory disease that not only afflicts the skin but is also associated with cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome. The strongest susceptibility loci for the disease is within the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) complex, though specific HLA allelic associations vary between populations.Our objective was to investigate HLA associations with clinical phenotypes of psoriasis and metabolic syndrome in Chinese psoriasis cases.We conducted an observational case-control study in Singapore with a cohort of psoriasis cases consecutively recruited from an outpatient specialist dermatological center (n = 120) compared with 130 healthy controls.Significant HLA associations with psoriasis were observed with HLA-A*02:07, B*46:01, C*01:02, and C*06:02. The three-locus haplotype of A*02:07-C*01:02-B*46:01 was also significant (odds ratio [OR] 3.07; p = 9.47 × 10-5). We also observed an association between nail psoriasis and HLA-A*02:07 carriers (OR 4.50; p = 0.002), whereas C*06:02 carriers were less prone to have nail involvement (OR 0.16; p = 0.004). HLA-A*02:07 was also identified as a possible risk allele for hypertension (OR 2.90; p < 0.05), and C*01:02 was a possible risk allele for dyslipidemia (OR 3.36; p < 0.05), both known to be common comorbidities in patients with psoriasis.Our results demonstrate the growing importance of discerning population-specific clinical phenotypes and their association with certain HLA alleles in psoriasis.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s40291-019-00423-z

    View details for Web of Science ID 000501438000006

    View details for PubMedID 31473973

  • Non-close-packed pore arrays through one-step breath figure self-assembly and reversal CHEMICAL SCIENCE Thong, A., Lim, D., Ahsan, A., Goh, G., Xu, J., Chin, J. 2014; 5 (4): 1375-1382

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c3sc52258j

    View details for Web of Science ID 000332467400014