The Laser Materials Processing Lab (LMPL) at the University of Iowa pursues research on the advancement of material processing technology and sciences. There are currently three main research thrusts:

  • development of laser engineering methods for new functional materials;
  • development of novel manufacturing processes (via lasers, ultrasonics, friction stir processes); 
  • modeling and simulations of material processes, microstructures and functional properties. 

The lab is directed by Prof. Hongtao Ding

Google Scholars Citation Record


Group News


  • January 2020 - Avik Samanta is featured in University of Iowa Dare to Discover campaign which showcases researchers, scholars, and creators from across the University of Iowa on banners throughout downtown Iowa City. The campaign is sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Research at the University of Iowa.

  • December 2019 - At the end of 2019, our paper on nHSN is published by the journal of Applied Surface ScienceWe have been working on the topic for the past couple of years. This new paper shows the process development for this innovative surface nanostructuring process. More papers on nHSN will come in 2020!


  • November 2019 - Prof. Ding receives College of Engineering Seed Grant to develop Superwicking Heat Pipe using Fast Laser/Chemical Surface Nanostructuring Method.

  • November 2019 - Our THz metamaterials review paper is featured as the Frontispiece in Laser & Photonics Reviews.

  • October 2019 - Avik and Nicholas are featured in the latest UI ME Newsletter.



  • September 2019 - Qinghua ‘Nicholas’ Wang presented the paper with title "A Novel Laser Patterning Process for Highly Flexible Transparent Conducting Heater’ at the 3rd World Congress on Micro and Nano Manufacturing held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.


  • August 2019 - Hassan Chaudhry and Wuji Huang join our group. Welcome!



  • July 2019 - Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang starts a 6-month project at GM R&D as a visiting scientist.




  • June 2019 - Prof. Ding receives CCAD CRISP Genesis Award to develop dynamically tunable metamaterial for THz spectroscopy.



  • May 2019 - Prof. Ding receives the Career Kudos Award from the University of Iowa.






  • April 2019 - Congratulations to Avik Samanta for receiving the 2018- 2019 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the University of Iowa. He is a doctoral candidate and has served as a teaching assistant for several courses. He is very dedicated, enthusiastic and enjoys working with the students.


  • March 2019We recently published a paper in Optics and Lasers in Engineering for our research in Laser Keyhole Cutting of CFRP. For the first time, a keyhole mode cutting is achieved for CFRP materials using a long-pulse nanosecond laser. A high-quality machined surface can be produced with a limited heat-affected zone and little fiber pull-out. The paper can be read from here.



  • March 2019Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang received the 2019 Student Innovator Award from the University of Iowa. Congratulations!



  • February 2019 -Our recent research is published in Scientific Reports on laser fabrication of new terahertz bandpass ultrathin metamaterials


  • December 2018 - Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang and Avik Samanta successfully passed their respective comprehensive exam in Fall 2018. Congratulations!


  • October 2018 - Our group attended the 37th International Congress on Aplications of Lasers & Electro-Optics (ICALEO) at Orlando, Florida, USA.
    • Qinghua 'Nicholas' Wang presented the paper for the title of "A Novel Laser Surface Patterning Process for Fabrication of Transparent Conducting Ultra-thin Metal Film".
    • Avik Samanta presented the poster for the title of "Enhancement of Laser Textured Surface Nanostructuring to Achieve Superhydrophobicity on Engineering Metal Surface".


  • May 2018 - Ninggang ‘George’ Shen receives his PhD degree at  2018 Spring University of Iowa Graduate College Doctoral Commencement Ceremony at the Hancher Auditorium. Congratulations!


  • May 2018Prof. Ding Receives NSF Grant to Study a Fast Laser-based Surface Nanostructuring Method. 


  • April 2018 - Avik Samanta wins the Rajyalakshmi & Shankar N Planjery Award in Spring 2018. Congratulations!








  • MForesight article about our laser-based composites processing research







At the University of Iowa, we have an immediate Research Assistantship (RA) opening for a project on wind turbine manufacturing, machining and surface treatment. We are looking for highly motivated students with background in one or more of the following areas: Solid mechanics, materials & mechanical behaviors, computer modeling (FEM, dislocation dynamics, MD, or phase field simulation), materials processing (e.g., machining), wind energy, and laser based manufacturing. PhD students in their first year or MS students who intend to continue PhD are preferred. Interested applicants are welcomed to contact Dr. Ding with a resume and a letter summarizing their research experience and research accomplishments.