Yihui Zhang

Professor, Department of Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University

Address: Room N629, Mong Man-Wei Sci. & Technol. Bldg, Tsinghua University

Beijing 100084, China

Phone: +86-10-6279-6127 (office)


Group Website:

Education background

Ph.D. in Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, China (6/2011)

M.S. in Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, China (6/2008)

B.S. in Engineering Mechanics, Nanjing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics, China (6/2006)


12/2019–Present, Professor in Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, China

3/2015–12/2019, Associate Professor in Engineering Mechanics, Tsinghua University, China

6/2014–3/2015, Research Assistant Professor in Civil & Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University, USA

10/2011–6/2014, Postdoctoral Fellow in Civil & Environmental Engineering, Northwestern University, USA

Social service

2024–Present, Deputy Editor, Science Advances

2023–Present, Editor, Mechanics of Materials

2022–Present, Associate Editor, International Journal of Smart and Nano Materials

2021–2024, Associate Editor, Science Advances

2019–2024, Associate Editor, Research

2019–2022, Associate Editor, Mechanics of Materials

2017–2022, Associate Editor, ASME-Journal of Applied Mechanics

2019–Present, Editorial Board, Current Opinion in Solid State & Materials Science

2016–Present, Editorial Board, npj Flexible Electronics

2023–Present, Editorial Board, FlexTech

2018–Present, Editorial Board, Theoretical and Applied Mechanics Letters

2017–2022, Editorial Board, Proceedings of the Royal Society A

2020–2022, Member, Board of Directors, SES (Society of Engineering Science)

2016–Present, Member of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers)

2020–Present, Vice-chair of the Committee of mechanics of electronic and electromagnetic devices, The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics

2018–Present, Vice-chair of the Committee of soft matter mechanics, The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics

Areas of Research Interests/ Research Projects

Mechanically-guided 3D assembly

Unusual soft materials

Stretchable and flexible electronics

Mechanics of smart materials and structures

Research Status

Zhang group’s research bridges the broad areas of solid mechanics, materials science and engineering, electrical engineering and biomedical engineering. His group is dedicated to addressing the grand challenges in the frontiers of science and technologies through creative uses of mechanics principles and cross-fertilization among diverse disciplines, which drives the development of new mechanics theories and computational models of advanced materials and structures, as well as novel designs and fabrication approaches of materials and systems with unprecedented properties. A major focus of current research is the study of flexible mesostructure technologies for the development of soft architected materials that can reproduce and/or exceed the mechanical/physical properties of soft biological tissues, as well as 3D microelectronics that can offer new functionalities and/or enhanced performances.

Selected Honors And Awards

• James R. Rice Medal, Society of Engineering Science  (2024)

• Science and Technology Award for Young Investigators, The Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics  (2023)

• The National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars, National Natural Science Foundation of China  (2022)

• Gustus L. Larson Memorial Award, Pi Tau Sigma and ASME  (2022)

• The Xplorer Prize, Tencent Foundation  (2021)

• Highly Cited Researcher in Cross-Field, Clarivate Web of Science  (2020, 2022 & 2023)

• Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award, ASME  (2019)

• Young Investigator Medal, Society of Engineering Science  (2018)

• Sia Nemat-Nasser Early Career Award, ASME  (2018)

• Eshelby Mechanics Award for Young Faculty  (2017)

• Melville Medal, ASME  (2017)

• Excellent Youth Funding, National Natural Science Foundation of China  (2017)

• Journal of Applied Mechanics Award, ASME  (2017)

• MIT Technology Review's 35 Innovators Under 35 (TR35)  (2016)

• Qiu Shi Outstanding Young Scholar Award, Qiu Shi Science & Technologies Foundation  (2016)


He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed journal papers, including multi-disciplinary journals (Science, Nature, Cell, Nature Communications, Science Advances and PNAS); and journals in mechanics (e.g., JMPS, IJSS, Applied Mechanics Reviews), materials (e.g., Nature Materials, Nature Reviews Materials, Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, and Acta Materialia), electronics (e.g., Nature Electronics, Science Robotics and Advanced Electronic Materials), physics (e.g., PRB, APL and Physical Review Applied), nanotechnology (e.g., ACS Nano and Small). His recent work has been reported by many popular media (e.g., BBC, CBS, Daily Mail, Discovery, Le Monde, NBC, Wall Street Journal), and highlighted by many professional organizations (e.g., ASME News, Chemistry Views, IOP Physics World, Materials Today, Materials Views, MIT Technology Review, Nano Today).

Representative publications include: (* denotes the Corresponding authors; + denotes the Co-first authors)

[1] Cheng X+, Shen Z+, Zhang YH*. Bioinspired 3D flexible devices and functional systems. National Science Review, 2024, 11: nwad314

[2] Cheng X+, Fan Z+, Yao S, Jin T, Lv Z, Lan Y, Bo R, Chen Y, Zhang F, Shen Z, Wan H, Huang Y, Zhang YH*. Programming 3D Curved Mesosurfaces using Microlattice Designs. Science, 2023, 379: 1225-1232

--- Highlighted by Nature (2023, 616: 10), “Microstructures mimic life’s endless forms”.

[3] Cao S+, Wei Y+, Bo R, Yun X, Xu S, Guan Y, Zhao J, Lan Y, Zhang B, Xiong Y, Jin T, Lai Y, Chang J, Zhao Q, Wei M, Shao Y, Quan Q*, Zhang YH*. Inversely engineered biomimetic flexible network scaffolds for soft tissue regeneration. Science Advances, 2023, 9: adi8606

--- Highlighted on the homepage of Science website

[4] Shuai Y+, Zhao J+, Bo R, Lan Y, Lv Z, Zhang YH*. A wrinkling-assisted strategy for controlled interface delamination in mechanically-guided 3D assembly. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 2023, 173: 105203

[5] Jin T, Cheng X, Xu S, Lai YC, Zhang YH*. Deep learning aided inverse design of the buckling-guided assembly for 3D frame structures. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 2023, 179: 105398

[6] Bo R+, Xu S+, Yang Y+, Zhang YH*. Mechanically-guided 3D assembly for architected flexible electronics. Chemical Reviews, 2023, 123: 11137-11189

[7] Pang W+, Xu S+, Wu J, Bo R, Jin T, Xiao Y, Liu Z, Zhang F, Cheng X, Bai K, Song H, Xue Z, Wen L, Zhang YH*. A soft microrobot with highly deformable 3D actuators for climbing and transitioning complex surfaces. PNAS, 2022, 119: e2215028119

[8] Xue Z+, Jin T+, Xu S, Bai K, He Q, Zhang F, Cheng X, Ji Z, Pang W, Shen Z, Song H, Zhang YH*. Assembly of complex 3D structures and electronics on curved surfaces. Science Advances, 2022, 8: eabm6922

--- Featured on the cover of August 12, 2022 issue of Science Advances

--- Highlighted by Nature Reviews Materials (2022, 7: 681), “Pop-up shapes”.

--- Highlighted on the homepage of Science website

[9] Han M+, Guo X+, Chen X+, Liang C, Zhao H, Zhang Q, Bai W, Zhang F, Wei H, Wu C, Cui Q, Yao S, Sun B, Yang Y, Yang Q, Wu C, Ma Y, Xue Z, Kwak JW, Jin T, Tu Q, Song E, Tian Z, Mei Y, Fang D, Zhang H, Huang Y*, Zhang YH*, Roger JA*. Sub-millimeter scale multi-material terrestrial robots. Science Robotics, 2022, 7: eabn0602

--- Highlighted on the homepage of Science Robotics website

[10] Song H+, Luo G+, Ji Z, Bo R, Xue Z, Yan D, Zhang F, Bai K, Liu J, Cheng X, Pang W, Shen Z, Zhang YH*. Highly-integrated, miniaturized, stretchable electronic systems based on stacked multilayer network materials. Science Advances, 2022, 8: eabm3785

--- Featured on the cover of March 18, 2022 issue of Science Advances

[11] Cheng X, Zhang F, Bo R, Shen Z, Pang W, Jin T, Song H, Xue Z, Zhang YH*. An anti-fatigue design strategy for 3D ribbon-shaped flexible electronics. Advanced Materials, 2021, 33: 2102684

--- Featured on the Back Cover of Sep 16, 2021 issue of Advanced Materials

[12] Liu J+ Yan D+, Pang W, Zhang YH*. Design, Fabrication and Applications of Soft Network Materials. Materials Today, 2021, 49: 324-350

--- Featured on the inner cover of October 2021 issue of Materials Today

[13] Kim BH+, Li K+, Kim JT+, Park Y+, Jang H, Wang X, Xie Z, Won SM, Yoon HJ, Lee G, Jang WJ, Lee KH, Chung TS, Jung YH, Heo SY, Lee Y, Kim J, Cai T, Kim Y, Prasopsukh P, Yu Y, Yu X, Avila R, Luan H, Song H, Zhu F, Zhao Y, Chen L, Han SH, Kim J, Oh SJ, Lee H, Lee CH, Huang Y*, Chamorro LP*, Zhang YH*, Rogers JA*. Three-Dimensional Electronic Microfliers Inspired by Wind-Dispersed Seeds. Nature, 2021, 597: 503-510

--- Featured on the cover of Sep 23, 2021 issue of Nature

--- Highlighted by Nature (Vol 597, 2021, 480-481), “Seed-inspired vehicles take flight”.

[14] Zhang H, Wu J, Fang DN*, Zhang YH*. Hierarchical mechanical metamaterials built with scalable tristable elements for ternary logic operation and amplitude modulation. Science Advances, 2021, 7: eabf1966

[15] Wu J, Yao S, Zhang H, Man W, Bai Z, Zhang F, Wang X, Fang DN*, Zhang YH*. Liquid crystal elastomer metamaterials with giant biaxial thermal shrinkage for enhancing skin regeneration. Advanced Materials, 2021, 33: 2106175

--- Featured as Editor’s Choice

[16] Liu J, Yan D, Zhang YH*. Mechanics of unusual soft network materials with rotatable structural nodes. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 2021, 146: 104210

[17] Guo X+, Ni X+, Li J+, Zhang H, Zhang F, Yu H, Wu J, Bai Y, Lei H, Huang Y, Rogers JA*, Zhang YH*. Designing mechanical metamaterials with kirigami-inspired, hierarchical constructions for giant positive and negative thermal expansion. Advanced Materials, 2021, 33: 2004919

[18] Bai K, Cheng X, Xue Z, Song H, Sang L, Liu F, Zhang F, Luo X, Huang W, Huang Y, Zhang YH*. Geometrically reconfigurable 3D mesostructures and electromagnetic devices through a rational bottom-up design strategy. Science Advances, 2020, 6: eabb7417

[19] Yan D+, Chang J+, Zhang H, Liu J, Song H, Xue Z, Zhang F, Zhang YH*. Soft Three-Dimensional Network Materials with Rational Bio-mimetic Designs. Nature Communications, 2020, 11: 1180

[20] Pang W, Cheng X, Zhao H, Guo X, Ji Z, Li G, Liang Y, Xue Z, Song H, Zhang F, Xu Z, Sang L, Huang W, Li T, Zhang YH*. Electro-mechanically controlled assembly of reconfigurable 3D mesostructures and electronic devices based on dielectric elastomer platforms. National Science Review, 2020, 7: 342-354

[21] Fan Z+, Yang Y+, Zhang F, Xu Z, Zhao H, Wang T, Song H, Huang Y*, Rogers JA*, Zhang YH*. Inverse design strategies for 3D surfaces formed by mechanically guided assembly. Advanced Materials, 2020, 32: 1908424

[22] Liu Y+, Wang X+, Xu Y, Xue Z, Zhang Y, Ning X, Cheng X, Xue Y, Lu D, Zhang Q, Zhang F, Liu J, Guo X, Hwang KC, Huang Y*, Rogers JA*, Zhang YH*. Harnessing the interface mechanics of hard films and soft substrates for 3D assembly by controlled buckling. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2019, 116: 15368-15377

[23] Cheng X, Zhang YH*. Micro/Nanoscale 3D Assembly by Rolling, Folding, Curving and Buckling Approaches. Advanced Materials, 2019, 31: 1901895

--- Featured on the Inside Front Cover of Sep 6, 2019 issue of Advanced Materials

[24] Luo G+, Fu H+, Cheng X, Bai K, Shi L, He X, Rogers JA, Huang Y, Zhang YH*. Mechanics of bistable cross-shaped structures through loading-path controlled 3D assembly. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 2019, 129: 261-277

[25] Han M+, Wang H+, Yang Y, Liang C, Bai W, Yan Z, Li H, Xue Y, Wang X, Akar B, Zhao H, Luan H, Lim J, Kandela I, Ameer GA, Zhang YH*, Huang Y*, Rogers JA*. Three-dimensional piezoelectric polymer microsystems for vibrational energy harvesting, robotic prosthetic interfaces, and biomedical implants. Nature Electronics, 2019, 2: 26-35

--- Featured on the cover of January issue of Nature Electronics

--- Highlighted by Nature Electronics (Vol 2, 2019, 15-16), “3D piezoelectric microsystems pop up”.

[26] Zhang H, Guo X, Wu J, Fang DN*, Zhang YH*. Soft Mechanical Metamaterials with Unusual Swelling Behavior and Tunable Stress-strain curves. Science Advances, 2018, 4, eaar8535

[27] Fu H+, Nan K+, Bai W, Huang W, Bai K, Lu L, Zhou C, Liu YP, Liu F, Wang J, Han M, Yan Z, Luan H, Zhang YJ, Zhang YT, Zhao J, Cheng X, Li M, Lee JW, Liu Y, Fang D, Li X, Huang YG*, Zhang YH*, Rogers JA*. Morphable 3D Mesostructures and Microelectronic Devices by Multistable Buckling Mechanics. Nature Materials, 2018, 17: 268-276

--- Featured on the cover of March 2018 issue of Nature Materials

[28] Fan Z, Hwang KC*, Rogers JA, Huang YG, Zhang YH*. A double perturbation method of postbuckling analysis in 2D curved beams for assembly of 3D ribbon-shaped structures. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 2018, 111: 215-238

[29] Zhang YH*, Zhang F, Yan Z, Ma Q, Li XL, Huang YG, Rogers JA*. Printing, Folding and assembly methods for forming 3D mesostructures in advanced materials. Nature Reviews Materials, 2017, 2: 17019

--- Featured on the cover of April 2017 issue of Nature Reviews Materials

[30] Ma Q, Cheng H, Jang KI, Luan H, Hwang KC, Rogers JA, Huang YG, Zhang YH*. A nonlinear mechanics model of bio-inspired hierarchical lattice materials consisting of horseshoe microstructures. Journal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids, 2016, 90: 179-202

[31] Ma Q, Zhang YH*. Mechanics of fractal-inspired horseshoe microstructures for applications in stretchable electronics. Journal of Applied Mechanics, 2016, 83: 111008

--- Awarded the ASME Melville Medal, the highest ASME honor for the best original paper which has been published in the ASME Transactions during the two calendar years immediately preceding the year of the award

[32] Xu S+, Yan Z+, Jang KI, Huang W, Fu HR, Kim JH, Wei ZJ, Flavin M, McCracken J,  Wang RH, Badea A, Liu Y, Xiao DQ, Zhou GY, Lee JW, Chung HU, Cheng HY, Ren W, Banks A, Li XL, Paik U, Nuzzo RG, Huang YG*, Zhang YH*, Rogers JA*. Assembly of micro/nanomaterials into complex, three-dimensional architectures by compressive buckling. Science, 2015, 347: 154-159

--- Featured on the Cover of Jan 9, 2015 issue of Science

--- Highlighted by Science (Vol 347, 2015, 130-131), “Three-dimensional nanostructures pop up”.

--- Highlighted by Nature (Vol 517, 2015, 247), “Silicon buckles to form 3D shapes”.

[33] Zhang YH+, Yan Z+, Nan KW, Xiao DQ, Liu YH, Luan HW, Fu HR, Wang XZ, Yang QL, Wang JC, Ren W, Si HZ, Liu F, Yang LH, Li HJ, Wang JT, Guo XL, Luo HY, Wang L, Huang YG*, Rogers JA*. A mechanically driven form of Kirigami as a route to 3D mesostructures in micro/nanomembranes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2015, 112, 11757-11764

[34] Xu S+, Zhang YH+, Jia L+, Mathewson KE+, Jang KI, Kim JH, Fu HR, Huang X, Chava P, Wang RH, Bhole S, Wang LZ, Na YJ, Guan Y, Flavin M, Han ZS, Huang YG*, Rogers JA*. Soft Microfluidic Assemblies of Sensors, Circuits and Radios for the Skin. Science, 2014, 344: 70-74

--- This work was highlighted as an item and feature image in the News of the Week on the Science website.