Xiaoyue Ni

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

The Ni group aims to realize human-oriented materials intelligence through the combination of soft electronics and digital metamaterials—the materials can sense human signals, transform and adapt their functional properties according to human actions or status. The technical approach embraces epidermal electronics for advanced sensing of body mechanics, and micro/nanomechanics for closed-loop programmable matter. Our research focuses on creating digital-physical interfaces for dynamic control over materials properties via a full spectrum of mechanical and acoustic processes.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Assistant Professor of Biostatistics & Bioinformatics

Contact Information

  • Email Address: xiaoyue.ni@duke.edu
  • Websites:


  • Ph.D. California Institute of Technology, 2018

Research Interests

Flexible electronics, precision measurement, non-destructive testing, deformation physics of random media, mechanical metamaterials, robotic materials and smart structures, machine learning

Courses Taught

  • CEE 626: Energy Flow and Wave Propagation in Elastic Solids
  • ECE 391: Projects in Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • ME 221L: Structure and Properties of Solids
  • ME 391: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 392: Undergraduate Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 492: Special Projects in Mechanical Engineering
  • ME 543: Energy Flow and Wave Propagation in Elastic Solids
  • ME 591: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science
  • ME 592: Research Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering or Material Science

In the News

Representative Publications

  • Bai, Yun, Heling Wang, Yeguang Xue, Yuxin Pan, Jin-Tae Kim, Xinchen Ni, Tzu-Li Liu, et al. “A dynamically reprogrammable surface with self-evolving shape morphing.” Nature 609, no. 7928 (September 2022): 701–8. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-022-05061-w.
  • Ni, Xiaoyue, Wei Ouyang, Hyoyoung Jeong, Jin-Tae Kim, Andreas Tzaveils, Ali Mirzazadeh, Changsheng Wu, et al. “Automated, multiparametric monitoring of respiratory biomarkers and vital signs in clinical and home settings for COVID-19 patients.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118, no. 19 (May 2021): e2026610118. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2026610118.
  • Lee, KunHyuck, Xiaoyue Ni, Jong Yoon Lee, Hany Arafa, David J. Pe, Shuai Xu, Raudel Avila, et al. “Mechano-acoustic sensing of physiological processes and body motions via a soft wireless device placed at the suprasternal notch.” Nature Biomedical Engineering 4, no. 2 (February 2020): 148–58. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41551-019-0480-6.
  • Ni, Xiaoyue, Xiaogang Guo, Jiahong Li, Yonggang Huang, Yihui Zhang, and John A. Rogers. “2D Mechanical Metamaterials with Widely Tunable Unusual Modes of Thermal Expansion.” Advanced Materials (Deerfield Beach, Fla.) 31, no. 48 (November 2019): e1905405. https://doi.org/10.1002/adma.201905405.
  • Ni, Xiaoyue, Haolu Zhang, Danilo B. Liarte, Louis W. McFaul, Karin A. Dahmen, James P. Sethna, and Julia R. Greer. “Yield Precursor Dislocation Avalanches in Small Crystals: The Irreversibility Transition.” Physical Review Letters 123, no. 3 (July 2019): 035501. https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevlett.123.035501.
  • Ni, Xiaoyue, Stefanos Papanikolaou, Gabriele Vajente, Rana X. Adhikari, and Julia R. Greer. “Probing Microplasticity in Small-Scale FCC Crystals via Dynamic Mechanical Analysis.” Physical Review Letters 118, no. 15 (April 14, 2017). https://doi.org/10.1103/physrevlett.118.155501.
  • Vajente, G., E. A. Quintero, X. Ni, K. Arai, E. K. Gustafson, N. A. Robertson, E. J. Sanchez, J. R. Greer, and R. X. Adhikari. “An instrument to measure mechanical up-conversion phenomena in metals in the elastic regime.” The Review of Scientific Instruments 87, no. 6 (June 2016): 065107. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4953114.