Yong Zhu

Andrew A. Adams Distinguished Professor

  • 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 and exploring the applications of nanomaterials.

Dr. Zhu teaches Micro/Nano electromechanical Systems (MAE 536) 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 basketball, swimming, 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 flexible and stretchable electronics. 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) developing flexible and stretchable electronics for wearable and robotics applications.

Honors and Awards

  • James R. Rice Medal, Society of Engineering Science, 2021
  • Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany, 2020
  • ASME/Pi Tau Sigma Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award, 2019
  • ASME Fellow, 2017
  • Eshelby Mechanics Award, 2016
  • University Faculty Scholar, 2015
  • MAE Outstanding Research Award, 2015
  • Alcoa Foundation Engineering Research Achievement Award (College of Engineering), 2015
  • ASME Sia Nemat-Nasser Early Career Award, 2015
  • Best Wearable Material/Component Development Award at IDTechEx Wearable USA, 2015
  • Society of Experimental Mechanics Young Investigator Lecture Award, 2013
  • Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award, 2012


Achieving High-Resolution Electrohydrodynamic Printing of Nanowires on Elastomeric Substrates through Surface Modification
Ren, P., Liu, Y., Song, R., O'Connor, B., Dong, J., & Zhu, Y. (2021), ACS APPLIED ELECTRONIC MATERIALS, 3(1), 192–202. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsaelm.0c00747
Effect of electrode characteristics on electromyographic activity of the masseter muscle
Prasad, S., Farella, M., Paulin, M., Yao, S., Zhu, Y., & Vuuren, L. J. (2021), JOURNAL OF ELECTROMYOGRAPHY AND KINESIOLOGY, 56. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jelekin.2020.102492
Noninvasive and Nonocclusive Blood Pressure Monitoring via a Flexible Piezo-Composite Ultrasonic Sensor
Peng, C., Chen, M., Sim, H. K., Zhu, Y., & Jiang, X. (2021), IEEE SENSORS JOURNAL, 21(3), 2642–2650. https://doi.org/10.1109/JSEN.2020.3021923
Static and dynamic proprioceptive recognition through vibrotactile stimulation
Vargas, L., Huang, H., Zhu, Y., & Hu, X. (2021), JOURNAL OF NEURAL ENGINEERING. https://doi.org/10.1088/1741-2552/ac0d43
Buckle-Delamination-Enabled Stretchable Silver Nanowire Conductors
Wu, S., Yao, S., Liu, Y., Hu, X., Huang, H. H., & Zhu, Y. (2020), ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 12(37), 41696–41703. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c09775
Competition between shear localization and tensile detwinning in twinned nanowires
Yin, S., Cheng, G., Zhu, Y., & Gao, H. (2020), PHYSICAL REVIEW MATERIALS, 4(2). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevMaterials.4.023603
Facile Approach to Fabricating Stretchable Organic Transistors with Laser-Patterned Ag Nanowire Electrodes
Song, R., Yao, S., Liu, Y., Wang, H., Dong, J., Zhu, Y., & Brendan T. O'Connor. (2020), ACS APPLIED MATERIALS & INTERFACES, 12(45), 50675–50683. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsami.0c15339
Gas-Permeable, Ultrathin, Stretchable Epidermal Electronics with Porous Electrodes
Zhou, W., Yao, S., Wang, H., Du, Q. I., Ma, Y., & Zhu, Y. (2020), ACS NANO, 14(5), 5798–5805. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsnano.0c00906
In-situ TEM study of dislocation interaction with twin boundary and retraction in twinned metallic nanowires
Cheng, G., Yin, S., Li, C., Chang, T.-H., Richter, G., Gao, H., & Zhu, Y. (2020), ACTA MATERIALIA, 196, 304–312. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actamat.2020.06.055
Microelectromechanical Systems for Nanomechanical Testing: Displacement- and Force-Controlled Tensile Testing with Feedback Control
Li, C., Cheng, G., Wang, H., & Zhu, Y. (2020), EXPERIMENTAL MECHANICS. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11340-020-00619-z

View all publications via NC State Libraries

View publications on Google Scholar


A Wearable Sensing System for Continuous Assessment of Outcomes of Orthotic Hand Users in Real-World Settings
(5/01/21 - 4/30/22)
PFI-TT: Stretchable Strain Sensors for Real-Time Joint Angle Tracking in Sports
(8/01/21 - 7/31/23)
Development of an In-Situ Testing Laboratory for Research and Education of Very High Temperature Reactor Materials
(10/01/20 - 9/30/21)
Plant-Aid: A Data Driven and Sensor Integrated Platform to Monitor Emerging Plant Diseases
(2/17/20 - 6/30/23)
Cover-2: Safety-as-a-Service
(8/01/20 - 9/30/21)
Collaborative Research: Investigating the Strain-Rate and Time-Dependent Plasticity and Mechanical Properties of Metal Nanowires
(8/01/19 - 7/31/22)
Collaborative Research: Strength and Brittle-to-Ductile Transition of Silicon Nanowires at Elevated Temperatures
(9/01/18 - 8/31/21)
SNM: Printing and Integration of Metal Nanowires and Organic Semiconductors for Large-Area Stretchable Electronics and Sensors
(7/01/17 - 6/30/22)
Towards Restoring Natural Sensation of Hand Amputees via Wearable Surface Grid Electrodes
(9/01/16 - 8/31/20)
Nanocellulose Microneedle Array for Intradermal ISF Extraction
(9/01/15 - 8/31/16)