Photo of Tao, Hu

Hu "Tiger" Tao

Assistant Professor

Phone: (512) 471-2305
Office: ETC 3.118

Dr. Tao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. His academic strengths lie in his interdisciplinary background in engineering, materials science, physics and biology. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University and received the Best Dissertation Award in the College of Engineering in 2010. His research focused primarily on creating active devices to manipulate terahertz radiation by combining metamaterials and MEMS/NEMS technologies for novel engineering applications, including THz perfect absorbers, THz metamaterial detectors/imagers and reconfigurable THz metamaterials. After graduation, He joined Professor Fiorenzo Omenetto's group as a Postdoc (2010-2011) and then a Research Assistant Professor (2012-2014) in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University. With Professor Omenetto, He has done research on multifunctional micro/nano electronic and photonic devices with biocompatible and biodegradable materials.


His areas of interest include fundamental and applied aspects of micro-/nanofabrication and novel materials (e.g. metamaterials and silk fibroin protein) for unusual mechanical, electronic and photonic devices, with an emphasis on biocompatible and bioresorbable devices and systems that interact with cells and integrate with the human body. He has published over 50 papers (seven of which were featured on the cover, with an overall citation of >2000 in the past 5 years) in journals such as Science, Nature, Nature Photonics, Nature Nanotechnology, Nature Communications, PNAS, Advanced Materials, and Physical Review Letters. His group is currently working on three distinct, but interrelated research areas including:

  • Low-cost, green and large scale micro-/nanomanufacturing using bio- and synthetic polymers;
  • Bio-inspired/bio-integrated (electromagnetic and mechanical) metamaterials for biosensing and tissue engineering;
  • Direct "visualization" of local (mechanical, chemical and structural) properties of biopolymers on the nanoscale using scanning near-field optical microscopy.

Selected Publication

  1. H. Tao, S. Hwang, B. Marelli, B. An, J.E. Moreau, M. Yang, M.A. Brenckle, S. Kim, D.L. Kaplan, J.A. Rogers, and F.G. Omenetto, "Silk-based resorbable electronic devices for remotely controlled therapy and in vivo infection abatement", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 111 (49), pp. 17385-17389, 2014.
  2. S. Kim, B. Marelli, M.A. Brenckle, A.N. Mitropoulos, E.S. Gil, K. Tsioris, H. Tao, D.L. Kaplan and F.G. Omenetto, "All-water-based Electron-beam Lithography using Silk as a Resist", Nature Nanotechnology, 2014.
  3. M.A. Brenckle, H. Tao, S. Kim, M. Paquette, D.L. Kaplan, and F.G. Omenetto, "Protein-Protein Nanoimprinting of Silk Fibroni Films", Advanced Materials, 25 (17), pp. 2378-2378, 2013.
  4. H. Tao, J.M. Kainerstorfer, S.M. Siebert, E.M. Pritchard, A. Sassaroli, B. Panilaitis, M.A. Brenckle, J.J. Amsden, S. Fantini, D.L. Kaplan, and F.G. Omenetto, "Implantable Multifunctional Bioresorbable Optics," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109 (48), pp. 19584-19589, 2012.
  5. S. Kim, A.N. Mitropoulus, J.D. Spitzberg, H. Tao, D.L. Kaplan, and F.G. Omenetto, "Silk Inverse Opals," Nature Photonics, 6, pp. 818-823, 2012.
  6. S. Hwang, H. Tao, D.H. Kim, H. Cheng, J.K. Song, E. Rill, M.A. Brenckle, S.M. Won, Y.S. Kim, K.J. Yu, A. Ameen, R. Li, Y. Su, M. Yang, D.L. Kaplan, M.R. Zakin, M.J. Slepian, Y. Huang, F.G. Omenetto, and J.A. Rogers, "A Physical Transient Form of Silicon Electronics", Science, 337, pp. 1640-1644, 2012.
  7. M. Liu, H. Y. Hwang, H. Tao, A.C. Strikwerda, K. Fan, G. Keiser, A. Sternbach, K. G. West, S. Kittiwatanakul, J. Lu, S.A. Wolf, F.G. Omenetto, X. Zhang, K.A. Nelson, and R.D. Averitt, "Terahertz Induced Insulator to Metal Transition in Vanadium Dioxide Metamaterial," Nature, 487 (7407), pp. 345-348, 2012.
  8. H. Tao, D.L. Kaplan, and F.G. Omenetto, "Silk Materials - A Road to Sustainable High Technology," Advanced Materials, 24 (21), pp. 2824-2837, 2012.
  9. M.S. Mannoor, H. Tao, J.D. Clayton, A. Sengupta, R.R. Naik, N. Verma, T.S. Duffy, F.G. Omenetto, and M.C. McAlphine, "Graphene-based wireless bactria detection on tooth enamel," Nature Communications, 3, doi: 10.1038/ncomms1767, 2012.
  10. H. Tao, M.A. Brenckle, M. Yang, J. Zhang, M. Liu, S.M. Siebert, R.D. Averitt, M.S. Mannor, M.C. McAlpine, J.A. Rogers, D.L. Kaplan, and F.G. Omenetto, "Silk-based Conformal, Adhesive, Edible Food Sensors," Advanced Materials, Issue 8, Jan. 2012.
  11. H. Tao, L. Chieffo, M. A. Brenckle, S.M. Siebert, M. Liu, A.C. Strikwerda, K. Fan, D.L. Kaplan, X. Zhang, R.D. Averitt, and F.G. Omenetto, "Metamaterials on Paper as a Sensing Platform, " Advanced Materials, 23 (28) (2011). 3197-3201.
  12. H. Tao, E.A. Kadlec, A.C. Strikwerda, K. Fan, W.J. Padilla, R.D. Averitt, E.A. Shaner, and X. Zhang, "Microwave and Terahertz Wave Sensing with Metamaterials," Optics Express, 19 (22), pp. 21620-21626, 2011.
  13. H. Tao, J.J. Amsden, A.C. Strikwerda, K. Fan, D.L. Kaplan, X. Zhang, R.D. Averitt, and F.G. Omenetto, "Metamaterial Silk Composites at Terahertz Frequencies," Advanced Materials, 22 (32) (2010) 3527 - 3531.
  14. H. Tao, A.C. Strikwerda, K. Fan, W.J. Padilla, X. Zhang, and R.D. Averitt, "Reconfigurable Terahertz Metamaterials," Physical Review Letters, 103 (14) (2009) 147401.
  15. H. Tao, N.I. Landy, C.M. Bingham, X. Zhang, R.D. Averitt, and W.J. Padilla, "A Metamaterial Absorber for the Terahertz Regime: Design, Fabrication and Characterization," Optics Express, 16 (10) (2008) 7181-7188.
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