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 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 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.

Honors and Awards

  • ASME Fellow, 2017
  • Eshelby Mechanics Award, 2017
  • 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
  • Society of Experimental Mechanics Young Investigator Lecture Award, 2013
  • Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award, 2012


Characterization and modeling of catalyst-free carbon-assisted synthesis of ZnO nanowires
Kong, X. C., Wei, C., Zhu, Y., Cohen, P., & Dong, J. Y. (2018), Journal of Manufacturing Processes, 32, 438–444.
Conformal Physical Vapor Deposition Assisted by Atomic Layer Deposition and Its Application for Stretchable Conductors
, (2018). ADVANCED MATERIALS INTERFACES, 5(22). https://doi.org/10.1002/admi.201801379
Controlled bending and folding of a bilayer structure consisting of a thin stiff film and a heat shrinkable polymer sheet
Cui, J. X., Adams, J. G. M., & Zhu, Y. (2018), Smart Materials & Structures, 27(5).
Electrohydrodynamic printing of silver nanowires for flexible and stretchable electronics
Cui, Z., Han, Y. W., Huang, Q. J., Dong, J. Y., & Zhu, Y. (2018), Nanoscale, 10(15), 6806–6811.
Evoked haptic sensations in the hand via non-invasive proximal nerve stimulation
Shin, H., Watkins, Z., Huang, H., Zhu, Y., & Hu, X. G. (2018), Journal of Neural Engineering, 15(4).
Gravure Printing of Water-based Silver Nanowire ink on Plastic Substrate for Flexible Electronics
Huang, Q., & Zhu, Y. (2018), SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 8. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-33494-9
Nanomaterial-enabled wearable sensors for healthcare
Yao, S. S., Swetha, P., & Zhu, Y. (2018), Advanced Healthcare Materials, 7(1).
Origami/Kirigami-Guided Morphing of Composite Sheets
Cui, I., Poblete, F. R., & Zhu, Y. (2018), ADVANCED FUNCTIONAL MATERIALS, 28(44). https://doi.org/10.1002/adfm.201802768
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.
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).

View all publications via NC State Libraries

View publications on Google Scholar


Collaborative Research: Strength and Brittle-to-Ductile Transition of Silicon Nanowires at Elevated Temperatures
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/01/18 - 8/31/21)
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)
Nanowire Synthesis for Gas and Bioelectronic Sensing
NCSU Advanced Self Powered Systems of Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST) Center(9/01/13 - 5/31/17)
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)
MRI: Development of a Miniature, High Temperature, Multiaxial Testing System for Advanced Materials and Engineering Research
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/15/13 - 7/31/18)