Yong Zhu


  • 919-513-7735
  • Engineering Building III (EB3) 3238
  • Visit My Website

Dr. Zhu’s long-term goal is to advance nanoscience and nanotechnology by improving the understanding of nanoscale material behavior.

Dr. Zhu teaches Micro/Nano electromechanical Systems (MAE 589M) for students interested in the fundamentals and the applications of micro/nano sensors and actuators. His lecture style course includes guest lecturers from industry and academia, and concludes with final projects of teams of 2 to 3 students in which the teams, based on the class material, propose and design micro/nano transducers for their intended applications, and study related scientific issues.

Dr. Zhu’s graduate students are self-motivated; they like both experimental and theoretical work, and tend to enjoy intellectually challenging, multi-disciplinary problems. The research they conduct in Dr. Zhu’s lab advances a major engineering frontier that may eventually lead to important new discoveries in the field of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

At the undergraduate level, Dr. Zhu teaches Solid Mechanics (MAE 314) and Strength of Mechanical Components (MAE 316). Both of these classes are taught following standard practices but he also includes in his lectures examples taken from his work on nano/micro devices.

See also Dr. Zhu’s ResearcherID site and his Google Scholar link below.

Outside of work, Dr. Zhu enjoys travel and sports like swimming, basketball, and ping-pong.


Ph.D. 2005

Mechanical Engineering

Northwestern University

M.S. 2001

Mechanical Engineering

Northwestern University

B.S. 1999

Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering

University of Science and Technology of China

Research Description

Dr. Zhu is interested in mEMS/NEMS design, fabrication and characterization; mechanics and materials issues in nanostructures and thin films; and mechanics of soft materials (including polymers and biological cells) and interfaces. Dr. Zhu is currently 1) developing micro/nano electromechanical transducers (NEMS/MEMS), 2) studying mechanical, electrical, and thermal inter-relations at the nanoscale, and 3) studying mechanical behavior of biological cells, thin films, and adhesion. Within MAE Dr. Zhu collaborates with Dr. Ro and Dr. Fang and in Materials Science with Dr. Yuntain Zhu (no relation) and Dr. Donald Brenner.

Honors and Awards

  • University Faculty Scholar, 2015


A novel finger kinematic tracking method based on skin-like wearable strain sensors
Yao, S. S., Vargas, L., Hu, X. G., & Zhu, Y. (2018), IEEE Sensors Journal, 18(7), 3010-3015.
A novel finger kinematic tracking method based on skin-like wearable strain sensors
Yao, S. S., Vargas, L., Hu, X. G., & Zhu, Y. (2018), IEEE Sensors Journal, 18(7), 3010-3015.
Nanomaterial-enabled wearable sensors for healthcare
Yao, S. S., Swetha, P., & Zhu, Y. (2018), Advanced Healthcare Materials, 7(1).
Anomalous tensile detwinning in twinned nanowires
Cheng, G. M., Yin, S., Chang, T. H., Richter, G., Gao, H. J., & Zhu, Y. (2017), Physical Review Letters, 19(25).
Pop-up assembly of 3D structures actuated by heat shrinkable polymers
Cui, J. X., Adams, J. G. M., & Zhu, Y. (2017), Smart Materials & Structures, 26(12).
Large-area nanolattice film with enhanced modulus, hardness, and energy dissipation
Bagal, A., Zhang, X. A., Shahrin, R., Dandley, E. C., Zhao, J. J., Poblete, F. R., Oldham, C. J., Zhu, Y., Parsons, G. N., Bobko, C., & Chang, C. H. (2017), Scientific Reports, 7.
A review on mechanics and mechanical properties of 2D materials-Graphene and beyond
Akinwande, D., Brennan, C. J., Bunch, J. S., Egberts, P., Felts, J. R., Gao, H. J., Huang, R., Kim, J. S., Li, T., Li, Y., Liechti, K. M., Lu, N. S., Park, H. S., Reed, E. J., Wang, P., Yakobson, B. I., Zhang, T., Zhang, Y. W., Zhou, Y., & Zhu, Y. (2017), Extreme Mechanics Letters, 13, 42-77.
Piezoelectric floating element shear stress sensor for the wind tunnel flow measurement
Kim, T., Saini, A., Kim, J., Gopalarathnam, A., Zhu, Y., Palmieri, F. L., Wohl, C. J., & Jiang, X. N. (2017), IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics, 64(9), 7304-7312.
Compact, highly efficient, and fully flexible circularly polarized antenna enabled by silver nanowires for wireless body-area networks
Jiang, Z. H., Cui, Z., Yue, T. W., Zhu, Y., & Werner, D. H. (2017), IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems, 11(4), 920-932.
Controlling the self-folding of a polymer sheet using a local heater: The effect of the polymer-heater interface
Cui, J. X., Yao, S. S., Huang, Q. J., Adams, J. G. M., & Zhu, Y. (2017), Soft Matter, 13(21), 3863-3870.

View all publications via NC State Libraries

View publications on Google Scholar


SNM: Printing and Integration of Metal Nanowires and Organic Semiconductors for Large-Area Stretchable Electronics and Sensors
National Science Foundation (NSF)(7/01/17 - 6/30/21)
Towards Restoring Natural Sensation of Hand Amputees via Wearable Surface Grid Electrodes
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/01/16 - 8/31/19)
Nanocellulose Microneedle Array for Intradermal ISF Extraction
NCSU Advanced Self Powered Systems of Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) Center(9/01/15 - 8/31/16)
Flexible and Stretchable Sensor Technology Research, Advanced Self Powered Systems of Sensors and Technologies Center, ASSIST Enhancement Project
Samsung Research America Inc.(4/01/15 - 12/31/16)
Interlayer Design for Optimal Noise Reduction, Phase II
Eastman Chemical Company(9/01/14 - 8/31/15)
Nanowire Synthesis for Gas and Bioelectronic Sensing
NCSU Advanced Self Powered Systems of Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) Center(9/01/13 - 5/31/17)
EMN-14-S-S-03 Understanding PVB Adhesion to Glass and Its Effect on Mechanical Performance: An Integrated Modeling and Experimental Approach
Eastman Chemical Company(11/30/-1 - 12/31/16)
Evaluation of Flexible Micropost Arrays for Shear Stress Measurement
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)(7/10/14 - 7/09/16)
Poptube Technology, Enabling Multifunctional Hybrid Composites for Next Generation Aircrafts
National Aeronautics & Space Administration (NASA)(3/16/14 - 9/15/16)
Collaborative Research: Investigation of Deformation Mechanisms Governing the Tensile Ductility of Twinned Metal Nanowires
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/01/14 - 8/31/18)