Gang Logan Liu

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Gang Logan Liu
Associate Professor
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
3104 Micro and Nanotechnology Lab
208 N. Wright Street
Urbana Illinois 61801

Primary Research Area

  • Nanotechnology

For more information



  • Ph.D. in Bioengineering, University of California-Berkeley and San Francisco, 2006


Prof. G. Logan Liu has a multidisciplinary educational background and was trained in both engineering technology development and clinical medical research environment.  He obtained his joint Ph.D. degree in Bioengineering from University of California-Berkeley and University of California-San Francisco with the honor of outstanding publication award.  His graduate research was focusing on developing micro and nanophotonic and electronic molecular detection systems for cancer diagnosis and therapy. He received his postdoctoral training in Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at San Francisco where he worked with breast and prostate oncologists and clinical medical workers to apply novel nanotechnologies in diagnosing and curing cancers.  After the medical postdoctoral training, he joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a prestigious Lawrence Fellow funded by U.S. Department of Energy to foster the nanobiotechnology research there for biodefense applications. In 2008 Prof. Liu joined University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and now is an associate professor in department of electrical and computer engineering and micro and nanotechnology laboratory. His expertise includes design, modeling, and fabrication of nanoelectronic and nanophotonic devices and their biomedical applications. He has published over 100 journal and conference papers as well as several book chapters. His research focuses on designing and developing integrative bionanophotonic and mobile sensing technologies and devices for the applications of advanced nanomanufacturing, bioimaging, cancer diagnostics and therapy, environmental sensing and mobile health. Dr. Liu has been awarded for several major awards in the past including Lawrence fellowship, Presidential Early-Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), lab-on-a-chip emerging investigator, Vodafone wireless innovation award and Nokia sensing XChallenge distinguished award. He is an elected fellow of American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineers. His research works on colorimetric nanoplasmonic device and mobile phone nanosensor were reported by Forbes, Wired magazine, Huffington Post, NBC, and many other major news media.

Academic Positions

  • Affiliated Faculty Member, Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009-present
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2008-present
  • Associate Professor, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2014-present

Other Professional Employment

  • Lawrence Fellow, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California, 2007-2008
  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center, UC-San Francisco, 2006-2007

Teaching Statement

Teaching Philosophy - Being engaging, inspiring and innovative In my view, teaching in higher education institutions is not only to transfer advanced knowledge to students, but more importantly to inspire younger generations to use the learnt knowledge pursuing their own career goals and serving the whole society better in the future. Particularly for the undergraduate and graduate students in my department of electrical and computer engineering at Illinois, someday many of them will become the pillars and leaders of electronics and information industry in the United States and many other countries all over the world. Training them to be highly qualified and motivated electrical and computer engineers is a huge responsibility for every faculty member in my department including myself.

Always striving to continuously improve my teaching effectiveness, I also realize my teaching should be a constantly refreshing and reforming task. Our students from the younger generation in 21st century are facing unprecedented societal and psychological challenges, such as being overwhelmed by rapidly evolving electronics and information technologies, being used to learning from internet and social networks, as well as having huge pressure from the fierce global competitions in the economic recession with uncertain job markets. In light of these emerging challenges, the current generation of students may not respond to the traditional classroom teaching methods as effectively as 10-15 years ago when I was in their positions. As an educator I believe it is my obligation to help our young students overcome these challenges and concentrate on course materials to learn as much as they can. I also believe it is an opportunity for us to be innovative in improving teaching methods by taking the advantage of modern information technologies for the benefit of optimizing the learning efficiency of our young students.

For highly-challenging required courses such as ECE 440, in which many students showed limited interests to classical device physics, I have been gradually modifying my teaching strategy and methods to motivate students to a higher level and help them connect the relevance of fundamental physics to contemporary technology innovations. Although improving the teaching effectiveness of historically difficult course still needs consistent solid endeavors for a long time, I will keep working hard toward this objective. I firmly believe we should and can educate our students better. In addition, I am designing a new course in order to inspire our young ECE students to be creative and innovative and to help them prepare for the emerging industrial opportunities in health care technology revolutions.

Resident Instruction

  • ECE 485 Introduction to Microelectromechanical Devices and Systems
  • ECE 340 Solid State Electronic Devices

Short Courses

  • Plasmonics and Metamaterial, NSF Bionanophotonics Summer School
  • Introduction to Nanophotonics, NSF Bionanophotonics Summer School

Research Statement

My research area lies at the intersection of engineering, physics, chemistry, biology and information technology including both theoretical and experimental aspects. Particularly I have been extremely interested in studying the micro and nano scale interface between solid-state electronic/photonic system and biological system. My research efforts have been dedicated to understand and control molecular and cellular systems using nanoengineering methods for the benefit of curing diseases, and improving life quality and preserving environmental sustainability.

Being aware of the grand challenges of 21st century we are facing in the United States and the whole world such as cancer diagnostics and therapy, agricultural and water sustainability, and affordable health care for more people, I worked tirelessly to foster innovative research projects in my lab to directly respond to these challenges with the immediate and long-term scientific, technology and societal impacts. The three closely related thrusts of my research are 1) Nano-Bio hybrid photonic devices, 2) Green microfluidic environmental sensors, and 3) Mobile digital health biochips. Due to the unique nature of my research in ECE department, I have been very active in reaching out to many Illinois colleagues from different disciplines including chemistry, physics, environmental science, agricultural and food engineering, molecular and cell biology. By participating in many campus-wide research alliances, I have contributed to a few center-scale federal grant applications and my research group has created many novel works through the multidisciplinary collaborations.

Research Interests

  • Nano-Bio Hybrid Photonics and Electronics, Green microfluidic environmental sensors, Mobile Digital Health Biochips

Research Areas

  • Bionanotechnology
  • Biosensors and bioelectronics
  • Nano-photonics
  • Nanotechnology

Chapters in Books

  • G. L. Liu et al.(2012) "Biosensing based on Surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy" in J. Li and N. Wu (Ed.),Biosensors Based on Nanomaterials and Nanodevices, CRC Press, Taylor & Francis Group
  • G. L. Liu (2012) "Plasmon Resonance Energy Transfer Nanospectroscopy" in B. Bhushan (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Nanotechnology. Springer
  • G. L. Liu (2010) "Introduction to Nanophotonics." In G. Popescu, Nanobiophotonics (Chap. 3). New York: McGraw-Hill
  • G. L. Liu and L. P. Lee (2009) "Micro and Nano Optofluidic Flow Manipulation." In C. Yang (Ed.), Optofluidics (Chap. 7). New York: McGraw-Hill

Selected Articles in Journals


  • Fellow (2015)
  • X Prize Foundation Nokia Sensing XChallenge Distinguished Award (2013)
  • Vodafone Wireless Innovation Award (2013)
  • Beckman Faculty Fellowship (2013)
  • Outstanding Advisor (2012)
  • Finalist, Vodafone Wireless Innovator (2012)
  • Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) (2011)
  • Finalist, Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award (2010)

Courses Taught

  • BIOE 497 - Individual Study
  • ECE 110 - Introduction to Electronics
  • ECE 485 - MEMS Devices & Systems
  • ME 485 - MEMS Devices & Systems