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

Postgraduate Course

Yongxiang Gao

Ph.D,Principal Investigator


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

Colloid Chemistry and Physics

Colloid Chemistry

Develop advanced chemical methods for controlling the morphology, surface chemistry and site-specific chemistry of colloids with high precision and synthesizing functional colloids

Colloid Physics


Control colloidal interactions, including entropic force, depletion interactions, electric and magnetic dipolar interactions; Design and discover new self-assembly principles for directing colloids spontaneously self-organize into specific ordered structures; Provide practical methods and knowledge base for low-cost and massive production of micro/nano structures.

Active colloids

Living matter, such as motor proteins, bacteria, ants and birds, gain active motion by constantly consuming energy at the individual level and display rich nonequilibrium dynamic and collective behaviors. These systems share similarities with vibrated grains and self-propelled colloids in their behaviors, which defy traditional equilibrium physics, and together are known as active matter. Using well-controlled self-propelled active colloids as model systems, we aim to unravel the physical principles underlying the behaviors of active matter, push forward the development of nonequilibrium statistical physics, and further predict and emulate the behaviors of living matter. Furthermore, we are interested in understanding how active colloids will influence self-assembly, crystallization and melting, and the microstructural dynamics and rheological properties of materials.

In addition, active colloids are also micro/nanorobots that have great application potentials in transportation and delivery on cellular or even smaller scales. We will develop stimuli-responsive and intelligent micro/nanorobotic systems that sense and respond to chemical, light, electric and magnetic fields, control their biomimetic functions and behaviors in locomotion, transportation, communication, cooperation and assembly, and explore their applications in the fields of medicine, environment and energy.

Research tools and skills

Colloidal synthesis and functionalization, electric and magnetic field, optical microscopy, optical tweezing, particle localization and tracking, rheology and micro-rheology, soft lithography and microfluidics, computer simulations and finite element analysis.

Research grants


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

2020-2022The 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

2015-2016 John Fell OUP Research Fund from Oxford University

2013-2015 European commission “Marie-Curie Actions” International Incoming Fellowship

Invited talk

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

Title:to be determined

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

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

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, 2021, under revision

Soft Matter, 2019, 15, 408.

Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 1319.

Majid Basharat, PhD in Chemistry, Beijing University of Chemical Technology

Small, 2022, 18, 2107621.

J Mater Chem C, 2020, 8, 13612

Mater Chem Front, 2020, 4, 3216

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

Graduate Students

Xinyuan Zhang, 2019

Yurou Li, 2020

Jiayu Zhang, 2022

Ruiyao Li, 2022

Undergraduate students

Shengjie He, 2019

Yiyang Zhang, 2019

Yicheng Yang, 2019

Publications (*corresponding author)


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

9. A Uddin, A Rauf, H Luo, F Jiang*, H Chen* and Y Gao*, submitted

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

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

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 (封面论文; 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).


3. ZH Shah, S Wang, L Xian, X Zhou, Y Chen, G Lin & Y Gao*, Chem Comm, 2020, 56, 15301 (Cover article; IF 6.22).

2. G Lin, L Xian, X Zhou, S Wang, ZH Shah, SA Edwards & Y Gao*, ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 2020, 15, 50512 (IF 9.23).

1. C Zhou, N Suematsu, Y Peng, Q Wang, X Chen, Y Gao & W Wang, ACS nano, 2020, 14, 5360 (IF 15.88).

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.


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.