The Zhao research group is part of the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. Our research theme is focused on mechanics and material chemistry using experimentation and multi-scale modeling approach. Research interests include:

  • Elements of mechanics such as deformation, stress, plasticity, fracture.
  • Elements of electrochemistry such as mass transport, charge transfer, interfacial reaction, and phase transformation.
  • In-situ experiments.
  • Multiscale modeling, first-principles, molecular dynamics, and finite element modeling.
  • Li-ion batteries, Na-ion batteries, all-solid-state batteries.
  • Organic electrochromics, organic electrochemical transistors, superelastic organic semiconductors.

We are grateful for the sponsorship of College of Engineering at Purdue University, ASME, 3M, NSF, and ONR.

We are grateful for the sponsorship of College of Engineering at Purdue University, ASME, 3M, NSF, and ONR.

    Recent news (more...)

  • Rong's two papers are both among the most cited in JMPS since 2018, Congratulations to the team!
  • In collaboration with CIE, Dr. Zhao's work on Active Learning through Flipped Classroom in Mechanical Engineering has been accepted on International Journal of STEM Education, Congratulations!
  • Xiaomei's paper on DFT modeling of grain boundaries and their impact on Li kinetics in NMC cathodes is accepted on JPCC. Congratulations to Xiaomei!
  • Hong's paper on molecular mechanisms of superelasticity and ferroelasticity in organic crystals is accepted on Chemistry of Materials without external reviews. After a long-time rebuttal with JACS, this work is finally appreciated. Congratulations to Hong!
  • Luize gave a great final defense on her thesis, Congratulations to Dr. Vasconcelos! Xiaokang successfully passed the prelim exam, Congratulations to Xiaokang!
  • Our collaborative work with Dr. Yijin Liu on Operando tailoring of defects and strains in corrugated β-Ni(OH)2 nanosheets for stable and high-rate energy storage is accepted on Advanced Materials. Congratulations to Nikhil!
  • Xiaokang's paper on in-situ measurement of breathing strain and mechanical degradation of organic electrochromic polymers is accepted on ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. Congratulations to Xiaokang!
  • Hong passed her PhD thesis defense, Congratulations Dr. Sun!
  • Dr. Zhao receives the 2021 James W. Dally Young Investigator Award from the Society for Experimental Mechanics, Congratulations!
  • Luize's work on Li profiling using nanoindentation is accepted on JMPS without any revision! Congratulations to Luize and Rong! Our collaborative work with Dr. Yijin Liu on mutual modulation between surface chemistry and bulk microstructure of Ni-rich cathode is accepted on Nature Communications, Congratulations to Jiaxiu and co-authors! Read the story here.
  • The paper on super- and ferro-elastic organic semiconductors is accepted on Angewandte Chemie, Congratulations to Hong and coauthors!