Assistant Professor Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering

Assistant Professor Yahui Xue graduated from the Department of Mechanics and Engineering Science at Peking University in 2009 and 2015 with a bachelor's degree in theoretical and applied mechanics and a doctorate in solid mechanics, respectively. From 2011 to 2013, he worked as a visiting scholar in the Institute of Materials Research at Helmholtz Zentrum Geesthacht in Germany. From 2016 to 2021, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at University of California, Berkeley. From June 2021, he served as an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering at Southern University of Science and Technology. The research interest lies in the fields of micro-nanomechanics, solid-liquid interfaces, micro/nanostructured materials, and synthetic ion channels, etc. The main aim is to use novel materials and new methods to resolve fundamental problems related but not limited to wetting stability of micro/nanostructures, active control of liquid flow and ion transport at nanometer and even atomic scales, which can find important applications in energy, environmental engineering, and medical treatment.

Personal Profile

Peking University, Beijing 2009/09-2015/07
Ph.D., Department of Mechanics and Engineering Science
Field: Fluid-Solid Interactions, Solid Mechanics
Advisor: Prof. Huiling Duan

Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Germany 2011/04-2013/10
Visiting Scholar, Institute of Materials Research
Advisor: Prof. Jörg Weißmüller

Peking University, Beijing 2005/09-2009/06
B.Sc., Department of Mechanics and Engineering Science
Major: Theoretical and Applied Mechanics


Sputhern University of Science and Technology, 2021/06-now
Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanics and Aerospace Engineering

University of California, Berkeley, CA 2016/02-2021/2
Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Advisor: Prof. Xiang Zhang


Honors and Awards
• 2017 Nomination for Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation in Mechanics, China
• 2016 The Lloyd Hamilton Donnell Applied Mechanics Reviews Paper Award,
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (the first author)
• 2015  Academic Top 10, College of Engineering, Peking University 2015
• 2014 Academic Innovation Award, Peking University 2014

Representative Publications

  1. Yahui Xue, and Xiang Zhang. Self-adaptive acoustic cloak enabled by soft mechanical metamaterials. Extreme Mechanics Letters 46: 101347, 2021.
  2. Yahui Xue#, Yang Xia#, Sui Yang, Yousif Alsaid, King Yan Fong, Yuan Wang, and Xiang Zhang. Atomic-scale ion transistor with ultrahigh diffusivity. Science 372 (6541): 501-503, 2021 (#equal contribution).
  3. Yahui Xue, Pengyu Lv, Hao Lin, and Huiling Duan. Underwater superhydrophobicity: Stability, design and regulation, and applications. Applied Mechanics Reviews 68 (3): 030803, 2016.
  4. Yahui Xue, Yanbing Yang, Hui Sun, Xiying Li, Shiting Wu, Anyuan Cao, and Huiling Duan. A switchable and compressible carbon nanotube sponge electrocapillary imbiber. Advanced Materials 27 (44): 7241-7246, 2015.
  5. Yahui Xue, Pengyu Lv, Ying Liu, Yipeng Shi, Hao Lin, and Huiling Duan. Morphology of gas cavities on patterned hydrophobic surfaces under reduced pressure. Physics of Fluids 27 (9): 092003, 2015.
  6. Yahui Xue, Yang Wu, Xiaowei Pei, Huiling Duan, Qunji Xue, and Feng Zhou. How solid–liquid adhesive property regulates liquid slippage on solid surfaces? Langmuir 31 (1): 226-232, 2015.
  7. Yahui Xue, Jürgen Markmann, Huiling Duan, Jörg Weissmüller, and Patrick Huber. Switchable imbibition in nanoporous gold. Nature communications 5: 4237, 2014.
  8. Pengyu Lv, Yahui Xue, Yipeng Shi, Hao Lin, and Huiling Duan. Metastable states and wetting transition of submerged superhydrophobic structures. Physical review letters 112 (19): 196101, 2014.
  9. Yahui Xue, Huijing Yuan, Weidong Su, Yipeng Shi, and Huiling Duan. Enhanced load-carrying capacity of hairy surfaces floating on water. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 470 (2165): 20130832, 2014.
  10. Yang Wu, Yahui Xue, Xiaowei Pei, Meirong Cai, Huiling Duan, Wilhelm TS Huck, Feng Zhou, and Qunji Xue. Adhesion-regulated switchable fluid slippage on superhydrophobic surfaces. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 118 (5): 2564-2569, 2014.
  11. Yahui Xue, Yan Wang, and Huiling Duan. Mechanics of Surface Enhanced Microcantilever Sensors. In IUTAM Symposium on Surface Effects in the Mechanics of Nanomaterials and Heterostructures, pp. 289-300. Springer, Dordrecht, 2013.
  12. Yahui Xue, Shigan Chu, Pengyu Lv, and Huiling Duan. Importance of hierarchical structures in wetting stability on submersed superhydrophobic surfaces. Langmuir 28 (25): 9440-9450, 2012.



Underwater superhydrophobicity and drag reduction

Switchable capillary flow in nanoporous media

Atomic-scale synthetic ion channels

Acoustic-mechanics metamaterials

Publications Read More

Prof. Yahui Xue has published more than 20 SCI papers in Science, Nat. Commun., PRL, PNAS, Appl. Mech. Rev., Proc. R. Soc. A, and so on, of which the Science paper is first authored. The number of total citations by other researchers from ISI Web of Knowledge is over 460. The review paper published in Applied Mechanics Reviews was awarded The Lloyd Hamilton Donnell Applied Mechanics Reviews Paper Award. The detailed scientific achievements are shown below.

1.  A thermodynamic framework was established to describe the wetting states and their stability on the surfaces of submerged complex micro/nanostructures under the influence of hydrostatic pressure, gas diffusion and fluid flow. The optimized power-law relationship was found between the diameter and spacing of the setae on superhydrophobic surfaces of water striders’ legs or some insects’ wings. The dependence of liquid slippage on the adhesion property of solid surfaces was uncovered and the underlying micromechanism was explained. This inspires more energy-efficient vessel designs with improved hydrodynamic performance.

2. A new method based on electrocapillary flow was proposed for precise control of liquid transport in extremely small volume. On-off switchable capillary flow in nanoscale pores was demonstrated by using low voltage control, and the law governing the electrocapillary imbibition in novel nanoporous media (such as nanoprous gold and carbon nanotube sponges) was revealed. The application in enhanced oil recovery using those novel nanoporous media was demonstrated.

3. The mechanism of concerted ion movement induced by electrostatic interaction between densely packed ions was discovered, and a mean-field theoretical model was established to predict the effective diffusion coefficient of ions in atomic scale graphene channels, and simultaneously ultrafast and highly selective ion transport in atomic-scale graphene channels under electrical gate control was realized. The finding can contribute to the design of artificial neuron networks and emerging electrodes with superfast charging speed.



Lab members Read More

Join us

We currently have openings for three postdoc positions, and research directions are not limited but preferred in low dimensional materials, Atomic force microscopy, nanofluidics, ion batteries, and micro/nanofabrication, etc. Interested candidates should email a CV (incl. names of three references) and cover letter to Yahui Xue (

PhD, Master, and undergraduate students are always welcome to apply.

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