Yong Zhu


University Faculty Scholar
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  • Engineering Building III (EB3) 3238
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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

  • 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


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
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
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
Microelectromechanical Systems for Nanomechanical Testing: Electrostatic Actuation and Capacitive Sensing for High-Strain-Rate Testing
Li, C., Zhang, D., Cheng, G., & Zhu, Y. (2020), EXPERIMENTAL MECHANICS, 60(3), 329–343. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11340-019-00565-5
Object Shape and Surface Topology Recognition Using Tactile Feedback Evoked through Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation
Vargas, L., Huang, H., Zhu, Y., & Hu, X. (2020), IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON HAPTICS, 13(1), 152–158. https://doi.org/10.1109/TOH.2020.2967366
Electrocardiogram of a Silver Nanowire Based Dry Electrode: Quantitative Comparison With the Standard Ag/AgCl Gel Electrode
Qin, Q., Li, J., Yao, S., Liu, C., Huang, H., & Zhu, Y. (2019), IEEE ACCESS, 7, 20789–20800. https://doi.org/10.1109/ACCESS.2019.2897590
Equi-biaxial compressive strain in graphene: Gruneisen parameter and buckling ridges
Jiang, T., Wang, Z., Ruan, X., & Zhu, Y. (2019), 2D MATERIALS, 6(1). https://doi.org/10.1088/2053-1583/aaf20a
Evoked Haptic Sensation in the Hand With Concurrent Non-Invasive Nerve Stimulation
Vargas, L., Whitehouse, G., Huang, H., Zhu, Y., & Hu, X. (2019), IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, 66(10), 2761–2767. https://doi.org/10.1109/TBME.2019.2895575
Hydrogen embrittlement in metallic nanowires
Yin, S., Cheng, G., Chang, T.-H., Richter, G., Zhu, Y., & Gao, H. (2019), NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, 10. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-019-10035-0
In Situ Nano-thermomechanical Experiment Reveals Brittle to Ductile Transition in Silicon Nanowires
Cheng, G., Zhang, Y., Chang, T.-H., Liu, Q., Chen, L., Lu, W. D., … Zhu, Y. (2019), NANO LETTERS, 19(8), 5327–5334. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.9b01789

View all publications via NC State Libraries

View publications on Google Scholar


Development of an In-Situ Testing Laboratory for Research and Education of Very High Temperature Reactor Materials
US Dept. of Energy (DOE)(10/01/20 - 9/30/21)
Plant-Aid: A Data Driven and Sensor Integrated Platform to Monitor Emerging Plant Diseases
Game-Changing Research Incentive Program for Plant Sciences (GRIP4PSI)(2/17/20 - 6/30/23)
Cover-2: Safety-as-a-Service
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/01/20 - 7/31/21)
Collaborative Research: Investigating the Strain-Rate and Time-Dependent Plasticity and Mechanical Properties of Metal Nanowires
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/01/19 - 7/31/22)
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 - 8/31/20)
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)