Yong Zhu

Associate 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.

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


Soft electrothermal actuators using silver nanowire heaters
Yao, S. S., Cui, J. X., Cui, Z., & Zhu, Y. (2017), Nanoscale, 9(11), 3797-3805.
Hypoxia and H2O2 dual-sensitive vesicles for enhanced glucose-responsive insulin delivery
Yu, J. C., Qian, C. G., Zhang, Y. Q., Cui, Z., Zhu, Y., Shen, Q. D., Ligler, F. S., Buse, J. B., & Gu, Z. (2017), Nano Letters, 17(2), 733-739.
Thrombin-responsive transcutaneous patch for auto-anticoagulant regulation
Zhang, Y. Q., Yu, J. C., Wang, J. Q., Hanne, N. J., Cui, Z., Qian, C. G., Wang, C., Xin, H. L., Cole, J. H., Gallippi, C. M., Zhu, Y., & Gu, Z. (2017), Advanced Materials, 29(4).
Editorial for the focus issue on "Nanomechanics'' in Extreme Mechanics Letters
Zhu, Y., Gianola, D., & Zhu, T. (2016). Editorial for the focus issue on "Nanomechanics' in Extreme Mechanics Letters. Extreme Mechanics Letters, 8, 125-126,
On the size-dependent elasticity of penta-twinned silver nanowires
Chang, T. H., Cheng, G. M., Li, C. J., & Zhu, Y. (2016), Extreme Mechanics Letters, 8, 177-183.
Bringing plos genetics editors to preprint servers
Barsh, G. S., Bergman, C. M., Brown, C. D., Singh, N. D., & Copenhaver, G. P. (2016), PLoS Genetics, 12(12).
Mechanical force-triggered drug delivery
Zhang, Y. Q., Yu, J. C., Bomba, H. N., Zhu, Y., & Gu, Z. (2016), Chemical Reviews, 116(19), 12536-12563.
Low-power wearable systems for continuous monitoring of environment and health for chronic respiratory disease
Dieffenderfer, J., Goodell, H., Mills, S., McKnight, M., Yao, S. S., Lin, F. Y., Beppler, E., Bent, B., Lee, B., Misra, V., Zhu, Y., Oralkan, O., Strohmaier, J., Muth, J., Peden, D., & Bozkurt, A. (2016), IEEE Journal of Biomedical and Health Informatics, 20(5).
Helical coil buckling mechanism for a stiff nanowire on an elastomeric substrate
Chen, Y. L., Liu, Y. L., Yan, Y., Zhu, Y., & Chen, X. (2016), Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 95, 25-43.
A piezoelectric shear stress sensor
Kim, T., Saini, A., Kim, J., Gopalarathnam, A., Zhu, Y., Palmieri, F. L., Wohl, C. J., & Jiang, X. N. (2016), In Sensors and smart structures technologies for civil, mechanical, and aerospace systems 2016. (Proceedings of SPIE-the International Society for Optical Engineering, 9803).

View all publications via NC State Libraries

View publications on Google Scholar


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 - 8/31/17)
MRI: Development of a Miniature, High Temperature, Multiaxial Testing System for Advanced Materials and Engineering Research
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/15/13 - 7/31/17)