Lan Yang is a fellow of The Optical Society and her research interests include fabrication, characterization and fundamental understanding of advanced nano/micro photonic devices with outstanding optical properties or novel features for unconventional control of light flow. Her group focuses on the silicon-chip-based, ultra-high-quality micro-resonators and their applications for sensing, lasing, nonlinear optics, environmental monitoring, biomedical research and communication. Her group has demonstrated the first on-chip micro-resonator-based particle sensors that can achieve not only detection but also size measurement of single nanoparticles one by one. Different materials with tailored chemical compositions and nanostructures are used in her research to achieve advanced micro/nano photonic devices with desired properties, such as nonreciprocal light transmissions in a parity-time-symmetric optical resonator system, an all-optical analog of an electronic diode that allows current flow in one direction.
Professor Yang joined the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis in 2007. She runs the Laboratory of Micro/Nano Photonics Research Group in the School of Engineering & Applied Science. In 2010, she earned a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and in 2011, she was honored by President Barack Obama with a Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). The early career award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.