College Introduction

The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) has been established at Shenzhen University to provide both undergraduate and postgraduate education, focusing on interdisciplinary teaching and research. As a special platform at Shenzhen University, IAS seeks to


Yongxiang Gao

Ph.D, Associate Professor (Tenured)


Address: Room 311, Zhizhi Building, Shenzhen University, Nanhai Avenue 3688, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, China, 518060


2002.08 – 2008.11 PhD, Physics, McGill University, Canada

1998.09 – 2002.07 B.S., Physics, Jilin University, China

Research Experience

2017 – present Principal Investigator (Tenured), Institute for Advanced Study, Shenzhen University

2016 – 2017 Associate Professor, Xi'an Jiaotong University

2013 – 2016 Marie-Curie Fellow, University of Oxford

2012 – 2013 Postdoctor, University of California Santa Barbara

2010 – 2012 Postdoctor, University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign

2008 – 2010 Postdoctor, The Australian National University

Awards and Qualifications

2022 Elite graduate supervisor of Shenzhen University

2021 PhD supervisor of Shenzhen University

2020 Supervisor of 100 excellent Undergraduate thesis of Shenzhen University

2019 Shenzhen Nanshan District Linghang Talent (Level C)

2018 Shenzhen Overseas High-Level Talent (Peacock Plan; Level C)

2017 ‘One hundred youth talents’ of Shaanxi Province

2016 “Young Talent Support Plan” of Xi'an Jiaotong University (B level)

2013 Marie-Curie Fellow

Research Interests

Through colloid design and bulk synthesis, we develop active systems and investigate a range of interesting phenomena emerging in the bulk and under confinement. We employ a variety of advanced techniques, such as optical tweezing, structured light, electric/magnetic field, microfluidics, and intelligent feedback setup, aiming for precise control over structure, dynamics and transportation of matter at the micro/nanoscale. Our research focuses on uncovering the mechanisms of self-propulsion and the principles of mutual interactions in active colloids, understanding and controlling self-organization, collective dynamics and odd flow properties of active matter. Active colloids are classic micro/nanorobots that show biomimetic functions such as locomotion, transportation, communication, cooperation and assembly, which have great promises in applications ranging from lab on a chip, medicines, sensing to environment.

Research tools and skills

Colloidal synthesis and functionalization, electric/magnetic field, optical microscopy, optical tweezing, structured light control, particle localization and tracking, rheology and micro-rheology, soft lithography and microfluidics, theory on diffusiophoresis, computer simulations and finite element analysis.

Research grants


2022-2023 The General Program of Natural Science Foundation of Guangdong Province

2020-2022 The Innovation Program of Guangdong Provincial Department of Education


2018-2021 The General Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China

2019-2021 Shenzhen Overseas High-Level Talent Startup Fund

2018-2020 The Free Exploration Program of Natural Science Foundation of Shenzhen

Invited talk

The 18th Chinese Conference on Colloid and Interface Chemistry, Xi’an, date to be determined

Title:to be determined

Chinese Physics meeting

Micro-Nano Technology and Advanced Material Innovation Conference, Chongqing, 2022.10.22-24

Title: Fabrication and Dynamic Assembly of Highly efficient Ag-based micromotors

Soft matter day, Southern University of Science and Technology, 2022.08.20

Title: Direct observation of microscopic mechanisms for normal grain coarsening kinetics

Xiamen Soft Matter Forum 2021 & ICAM-China 2021 Autumn Workshop, 2021.12.10-12.13

Title: Ionic Diffusiophoresis and Self-organization in Chemically Driven Active Colloids

Center for complex flows and soft matter research at Southern University of Science and Technology, 2021.09.29

Title:Self-propulsion mechanism and self-organization of chemically active colloids

Summer school on active matter, Westlake University, 2021.07.21

Title: Colloidal self-organization in and out of equilibrium

The 11th Liquid Matter Conference, Prague, the Czech Republic (online;Oral talk) 2021.07.18-23

Title:Self-organization of colloidal rotors

Active soft matter workshop for the 10th anniversary of Southern University of Science and Technology, 2020.11.21

Title:Synthesis and active dynamics of silver-based Janus colloidal motors

Summer school of active matter, Wenzhou University, 2020.05.18

Title:Self-organization of colloidal rods in and out of equilibrium

The 16th Pacific Polymer Conference, Singapore, 2019.12.08-12

Title: Directed self-assembly into low-density colloidal liquid crystals

Active Soft Matter Symposium, Hangzhou, 2019.09.26

Title: Synthesis of efficient silver-based micromotors

Soft Matter Day, Harbin Institute of Technology, 2019.1.8

Title: Engineering colloidal rods for self-assembly and self-propulsion.

International Symposium on polymer and condensed matter physics, Shenzhen, 2017.11.9-11

Title: Structural disorder, filament growth, and self-poisoning in short rods confined onto a flat wall.

Playing Colloidal Mikado Symposium, Eindhoven, Netherland, 2016.2.17-18.

Title: Directed self-assembly into low-density colloidal liquid crystal phases.

Group member


Nan Yu, PhD in Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Phys Rev Lett, 2022, under revision

Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 408.

Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 1319.

Muhammad Ikram, PhD in Physical Chemistry, Heilongjiang University

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2021, 13, 51799

J Mater Chem A, 2021, 9, 14722.

Chem Mater, 2020, 32, 7215

Salah Eddine Ghellab, PhD in Chemical Engineering, Harbin Institute of Technology

Small, under revision

Soft Matter, 2022, 18, 2726-2730

Colloids and surfaces B: Biointerfaces. 2017, 160, 697.

Qadeer ul Hassan, PhD in Physics, Shaanxi Normal University

Chemosphere, 2022, 288, 132668

Inorg. Chem. Front, 2020, 7, 356

ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces, 2019, 11, 45531

Shah Zeb (Excellent Postdoc of SZU), PhD in Chemical Engineering, Jinan University

ACS Appl Mater Interface, 2022, 14, 13836

Sensors and Actuators B: Chem, 2021, 334, 129584

Sensors and Actuators B: Chem, 2020, 321, 128439

Tayiba Ilyas (Excellent Postdoc of SZU), PhD in Physics, University of Electronic Science and Technology of China

Journal of Materials Science & technology, 2022, 103, 59

Applied Surface Science, 2021, 543, 148726

Materials and Design, 2021, 204, 109674

Ahmed Uddin, PhD in Environmental Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology

Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 2021, 602, 261-273.

Journal of Alloys and Compound, 2020, 845, 156206.

Chemical Physics Letters, 2020, 753, 137604

Muhammad Imran, PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering, Beijing Forestry University

Applied Surface Science, 2021, 566, 150721.

Environmental Science and Pollution Research

Fahmeeda Kausar, PhD in Chemical Engineering, Shanghai Jiaotong University

Macromol. Rapid. Commun. 2021, 2100036

Chem. Res. Chinese Universities. 2021, 37, 177-182

PhD students

Aaranda Arooj, 2022

James Obed Nketsiah, 2022

Mehrnoush Mehrarya, 2022

Ivan But, 2022级

Graduate Students

Xinyuan Zhang, 2019

Yurou Li, 2020

Jiayu Zhang, 2022

Ruiyao Li, 2022

Sazia Tonmoy, 2022

Undergraduate students

Shengjie He, 2019

Yiyang Zhang, 2019

Yicheng Yang, 2019

Publications (*corresponding author)


14. M Imran, A Islam, F Ismail, P Zhang, M Barsharat, M Ikram, A Uddin, S Zeb, Q Hassan* and Y Gao*, submitted

13. Y Zhang, J Wu, Y Yang, Y Li, X Zhang & Y Gao*, to be submitted

12. G Lin, Z Wang, X Zhou, Y Li, X Zhang, S Wang, T Ilyas, L Lei and Y Gao*, to be submitted

11. ZH Shah, N Yu, S Wang, X Zhou, G Lin, SA Edwards, M Yang* and Y Gao*, PRL under revision.

10. M Basharat, T Ilyas, M Ikram, SE Ghellab, Q Hassan, Y Zhang, A Uddin, S Zeb and Y Gao*, submitted

9. J Mecke, Y Gao*, CA Ramirez-Medina, DGAL Aarts, G Gompper and M Ripoll*, under review

8. SE Ghellab, X Zhang, Y Yang, S Wang, M Basharat, X Zhou, L Lei, Y Zhou, Y Wang, H Fang and Y Gao*, Small, under revision.

7. Y Li, S Wang, X Zhang and Y Gao*, JCIS open, 2022, 100061.

6. S Wang, L Zhou, Y Gao*, Phys Chem Chem Phys, 2022, 24, 10626-10627 (IF 3.94).

5. Y Mu, L Lei, J Zheng, W Duan, Z Wang, J Tang, Y Gao* and Y Wang*, ACS Nano, 2022, 16, 6801 (IF 18.02).

4. S Zeb, Y Cui, H Zhao, Y Sui, Z Yang, ZU Khan, SM Ahmad, M Ikram, Y Gao* and X Jiang*, ACS Appl Mater Interface, 2022, 14, 13836 (IF 10.38).

3. L Lei, S Wang, X Zhou, SE Ghellab, G Lin and Y Gao*, Frontiers in Chemistry, 2022, 10, 803906 (IF 5.54).

2. M Basharat, ZH Shah, M Ikram, SE Ghellab, Q Hassan, T Ilyas, L Lei, G Lin & Y Gao*, Small, 2022, 18, 2107621 (IF 15.15).

1. QU Hassan, AI Channa, Q Zhai, G Zhu, Y Gao, N Ali, M Bilal, Chemosphere, 2022, 288, 132668 (IF 8.94).


8. M Ikram, F Hu, G Peng, M Basharat, N Jabeen, P Ke and Y Gao*, ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2021, 13, 51799 (IF 10.38).

7. X Zhou, S Wang, L Xian, Y Li, ZH Shah, G Lin & Y Gao*, PRL, 2021, 126, 168001 (IF 9.18).

6. S Wang, L Zhou, Y Gao*, Phys Chem Chem Phys, 2021, 23, 16501 (IF 3.94).

5. A Rastmaneh, MT Yaraki*, J Wu, Z Wang, P Ghoderao, Y Gao* & YN Tan*, Mol Syst Des Eng, 2021, 6, 566 (IF 4.92).

4. M Ikram, H Lv, Z Liu, K Shi*, Y Gao*, J Mater Chem A, 2021, 9, 14722 (IF 14.51).

3. S Wang, L Zhou, X Wang, J Hu, L Pan, G Lin, Y Gao*, L Zhang*, C Wang*, Langmuir, 2021, 37, 7986 (IF 4.33).

2. L Lei, S Wang, X Zhang, W Lai, J Wu & Y Gao*, Chin Phys B, 2021, 30, 056112 (IF 1.65).

1. S Wang, Y Chen, X Zhou, L Lei, ZH Shah, G Lin & Y Gao*, Langmuir, 2021, 37, 1429 (IF 4.33).


3. ZH Shah, S Wang, L Xian, X Zhou, Y Chen, G Lin & Y Gao*, Chem Comm, 2020, 56, 15301 (Cover article; IF 6.06).

2. G Lin, L Xian, X Zhou, S Wang, ZH Shah, SA Edwards & Y Gao*, ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2020, 15, 50512 (IF 10.38).

1. C Zhou, N Suematsu, Y Peng, Q Wang, X Chen, Y Gao & W Wang, ACS nano, 2020, 14, 5360 (IF 18.02).

Earlier representative publications

Phys. Rev. Lett., 2015, 115, 248301.

Phys. Rev. Lett., 2007, 99, 078301.

Macromolecules, 2010, 43, 2042.

PRMaterials, 2018, 2, 015601.

Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 7119.

Soft Matter, 2017, 13, 8678.

Soft Matter, 2015, 11, 6360.

Soft Matter, 2011, 7, 5739.

Opt. Express, 2014, 22, 10046.

Opt. Express, 2009, 17, 4685.

J. Chem. Phys., 2012, 136, 054902.

Phys. Rev. E, 2009, 79, 051406.

Polymer, 2019, 177, 91.


Majid Basharat (2020.10-2022.09), Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Postdoc at Zhejiang University

Lijie Lei (2019.09-2021.12; Overseas Incoming Fellow of Guangdong), National University of Singapore, Lecturer at Civil Aviation Flight University of China

Xuemao Zhou (2019.04-2021.09; Overseas Incoming Fellow of Guangdong), Edinburg University, Associate Professor at Guangxi Science & Technology Normal University

Shuo Wang, Postdoc (2019.01-2020.12; Winner of Postdoc Research Fund of China), Institute of Applied Physics, Chinese Academy of Science, now Associate Research Fellow of Shenzhen Technology University

Zameer Hussain Shah, Postdoc (2017.11-2020.10), Dalian Technology University, Postdoc at Delaware University


We are always keen in recruiting highly motivated students and postdocs.